49ers desperately hope Blake Freeland falls to them in 2023 NFL Draft

Blake Freeland #71 of the Brigham Young Cougars moves to block Landon Jackson #40 of the Arkansas Razorbacks (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Blake Freeland #71 of the Brigham Young Cougars moves to block Landon Jackson #40 of the Arkansas Razorbacks (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

The 49ers are without a proven starting right tackle. In an attempt to shore up the offensive front, they desperately hope Blake Freeland falls to them in the NFL Draft.

As expected, right tackle Mike McGlinchey packed his bags and headed to the Denver Broncos. He signed a sizable contract to his liking to protect a familiar foe turned ally in quarterback Russell Wilson.

The vacancy leaves the San Francisco 49ers without a proven option at a very key position. If they want to protect their quarterback of the future moving forward, whoever he may be, they must find a quality option to fill the void in a hurry.

If the season were to start today, the most likely successors for the open tackle spot are Colton McKivitz and Jaylon Moore. They each have five career starts but have yet to be tested through a long, grueling 17-week schedule.

A better option would be second-year man Spencer Burford, who started 16 games last year as a rookie and impressed immensely at the right guard position.

He could easily and effectively hold down the right tackle position, Burford played every position in college except center.

If he did make the move to the outside, newly signed lineman John Feliciano could slide into the interior to play guard in his absence. General manager John Lynch swiped him away from the New York Giants to provide depth along the offensive front over the course of free agency.

But why mess with the continuity of the interior? The combination of Burford, center Jake Brendel and left guard Aaron Banks was solid, and keeping them together is only going to increase their chemistry as a unit.

Instead, why not draft former BYU lineman Blake Freeland?

49ers must leap on Blake Freeland if he falls deep into Round 3 of NFL Draft

This isn’t the first time Freeland has been linked to the franchise leading up to the draft.

Freeland is expected to play left tackle at the pro level. However, he played left and right tackle for the Cougars. His adaptability is a viable asset, and his versatility will prove valuable to the organization now and in the future. Once All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams calls it quits, Freeland could feasibly move to the left side and keep it a position of strength for years to come.

The BYU alumnus is a four-year starter with 41 starts to his credit. His efforts helped navigate an offense that scored 33 points per game and totaled 400 yards of offense every outing.

Not to mention, his measurables are astounding. At 6-foot-8 and 305 pounds, he’ll not only be hard to beat, but he’ll also be hard to move as well. Also, his size does not limit his movement along the field. He has incredible footwork and is a smothering run blocker.

In the passing offense, Freeland has provided the ultimate protection. In 1,129 snaps, he has given up one sack. That stat is astounding. If that doesn’t give head coach Kyle Shanahan the warm and fuzzies, then simply nothing will.

If the war room makes this selection happen, then the 49ers will have an opportunity to keep the offensive front strong, even with the departure of McGlinchey.

Freeland to the Niners isn’t a need or a want, it’s a must.

It’s also a no-brainer.

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