No. 3: 49ers have a minimal insurance policy against Alex Mack possibly retiring
As is the case with Mike McGlinchey’s recovery, perhaps San Francisco feels much more comfortable with the notion veteran center Alex Mack will actually come back in 2022 and not retire, despite plenty of speculation about him doing so this offseason.
The 49ers didn’t actually draft a pure center, as both Spencer Burford and Nick Zakelj aren’t projected to handle this kind of role.
Now, the Niners grabbed two possible replacements via undrafted free agency, Arizona State’s Dohnovan West and Mercer’s Jason Poe, both of whom could eventually transition into full-time starters and had plenty of NFL Draft cred leading up to April 28, the former even being viewed as a possible third-round pick who ultimately slipped out of the draft entirely.
That’s good. But being undrafted free agents, both West and Mercer’s road to the 53-man roster will be a lot tougher than if either player was selected in, let’s say, Round 4.
Perhaps this winds up panning out OK enough, especially if Mack returns and alleviates any worries about retirement.
At the same time, though, this year’s draft would have been the perfect opportunity to find a long-term replacement anyway.
Maybe West or Poe wind up filling this void.