The 49ers may have found their Daniel Brunskill replacement, plus Pro Football Focus identified the Niners’ post-NFL free agency needs.
While the loss of right tackle Mike McGlinchey to NFL free agency might impact the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive line the most, another loss could end up being nearly as significant.
From 2019 through 2022, the Niners relied heavily on versatile offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill, who essentially served as a starter or primary backup at each spot along the O-line during his tenure. Last year, though, he worked in a platoon role with then-rookie Spencer Burford at right guard.
Finally, when given the chance to depart via free agency, Brunskill signed on with the Tennessee Titans, joining a former San Francisco front-office executive, turned-general manager, Ran Carthon.
Carthon surely appreciated Brunskill’s versatility, and the 49ers will miss that element.
However, according to the news wire this week, the Niners may have found their Brunskill-like replacement.
49ers sign former NY Giants O-lineman Jon Feliciano, per report
San Francisco was able to retain another one of its starting O-linemen, center Jake Brendel, which is a plus. Yet the depth behind him remains suspect, and someone who could hold a Brunskill-type role as an “uber” backup, of sorts, would be helpful.
Feliciano, 31 years old, entered the league back in 2015 with the Oakland Raiders as a fourth-round NFL Draft pick out of Miami. He also spent time with the Buffalo Bills before joining the G-Men last season.
He’s played all three interior O-line spots, so one would figure the Niners would have him serve as the primary backup heading into the regular season.
Pro Football Focus identifies 49ers’ remaining needs after NFL free agency
San Francisco helped address one key area of need by signing Feliciano. And while there will be a number of free-agent moves here and there until the start of the regular season, even beyond, it’s likely the 49ers have wrapped up their big-ticket pickups.
That said, needs do remain.
In a recent piece that outlined all 32 teams’ biggest post-free agency needs, Pro Football Focus centered in on three for the Niners that do make some sense:
- Offensive line
Right tackle is still up in the air after McGlinchey’s departure, even though it seems as if Colton McKivitz will get the first crack to start there now.
Cornerback makes sense, too, after San Francisco said goodbye to Emmanuel Moseley. But linebacker is a bit stranger, especially with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw in tow.
PFF provided the following breakdown:
"The Niners have one of the strongest teams in the league, and then they added Javon Hargrave to that in free agency. They did lose Azeez Al-Shaair, who was a good LB3, as well as Samson Ebukam and Emmanuel Moseley. Look for them to hit those positions with their three late third-round picks."
One might think an outside pass-rusher would be more important than a linebacker, but perhaps PFF is thinking highly of second-year pro EDGE Drake Jackson making a substantial leap from his rookie campaign.