49ers replacement option for Alex Mack No. 2: Daniel Brunskill
Kyle Shanahan hasn’t typically relied much on rookies and young players to fill the void at center during his coaching career, so that arguably rules out the notion of either Jason Poe or Dohnovan West being a strong candidate to start in 2022.
More likely, San Francisco turns to a veteran.
In 2020, back when now-retired center Weston Richburg was still on the roster but was dealing with a serious injury that ultimately ended his career, the 49ers turned to now-starting right guard Daniel Brunskill to fill the void in what was nevertheless a regularly rotating door at center.
Brunskill wasn’t quite as effective in this stead as he is at guard, but this might be a more favorable option than going with a rookie.
It does create something of a domino effect, though, as the Niners would have yet another hole to fill in Brunskill’s previous spot, perhaps opening the door for one of their other linemen selected in the draft, Spencer Burford or Nick Zakelj, to have a better shot to start at right guard.
2020 was a bit of an outlier, though, as the team-wide scourge of injuries created all kinds of ripple effects, including Brunskill’s move from guard to center.
If San Francisco wants to avoid that in 2022, it might want to consider the following option instead.