Apparently, the 49ers won't have much success with Colton McKivitz or Matt Pryor at right tackle this season, according to Pro Football Focus' first mock 2024 NFL Draft.
It's only been a few days since the San Francisco 49ers took home nine prospects via the 2023 NFL Draft.
Surprisingly enough, though, not one of the players selected by general manager John Lynch was an offensive lineman.
Many a mock draft suggested San Francisco would select a lineman, particularly a right tackle in the wake of Mike McGlinchey departing earlier this offseason for the Denver Broncos via free agency. And while there were thoughts about the 49ers keeping it "in house" by promoting reserve lineman Colton McKivitz into a starting role, the need to grab someone to eventually fill McGlinchey's shoes wouldn't go away.
Even after the Niners didn't draft a lineman, the talk of adding one remains. It only gets pushed out to 2024.
49ers select USC tackle Jonah Monheim in Pro Football Focus mock 2024 NFL Draft
McKivitz is just one player in the mix at right tackle for the upcoming season. San Francisco also signed former Indianapolis Colts lineman Matt Pryor to compete. Additionally, it's possible the 49ers kick out last year's right guard, Spencer Burford, to tackle while opening up a competition in Burford's old spot.
According to Pro Football Focus' first mock draft for 2024, none of these fixes wind up working, or at the very least, wind up being permanent for the Niners.
Instead, selecting all the way down at No. 29 overall (San Francisco finally has a first-round pick again), the 49ers grab USC right tackle Jonah Monheim.
Here's PFF's skinny on Monheim:
"After losing Mike McGlinchey, the 49ers need a new right tackle. Monheim plays there for USC and was the second-most valuable tackle in the country, only trailing Joe Alt. Monheim totaled the most pass-blocking snaps in the country without allowing a sack or hit (570)."
The Niners have had success promoting from within to replace aging or too-expensive players they weren't going to re-sign. Case in point, last year, San Francisco promoted Jake Brendel from a backup into a starting center after Alex Mack's retirement. At the same time, the 49ers made up for losing left guard Laken Tomlinson by replacing him with a player drafted back in 2021, Aaron Banks.
It might be a stretch with McKivitz or Pryor, though, as the far right of an offensive line frequently receives the brunt of an opponent's best pass rush.
Right now, PFF thinks whatever the Niners do this season won't be enough and will coerce them to grab a player like Monheim in the 2024 draft instead.