The offensive line might be the 49ers' biggest position of need as they juggle a delicate salary cap situation, but the 2024 NFL Draft will offer plenty of possibilities.
The San Francisco 49ers are firm favorites to win a sixth Super Bowl in their storied history off the back of some MVP play from quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey.
Add in a second consecutive 1,000-yard season from wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, with his fellow receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle potentially becoming the first Niners trio to reach 1,000 yards receiving in the same season, and it's easy to see why San Francisco's offense is the most powerful and respected in all of football.
Read More: Just checking... yep, Brock Purdy is still worthy of MVP despite what haters say
So, is it weird that the 49ers' biggest weakness is on this side of the ball?
It's not just hyperbole. While Purdy has exceeded even the most wildly optimistic expectations in his second season, he's had to do it behind an offensive line that isn't just below par, but actually, one of the worst in all of football regarding pass protection.
Yes, 28th in pass blocking. That's the fifth WORST in all of the NFL, a line that has struggled to get it together apart from All-Universe left tackle Trent Williams.
With the 49ers facing salary cap decisions in the future, it's unlikely the Niners will be able to find a solution in the form of a free-agent acquisition or offseason trade. The good news, however, coupled with their first first-round pick since the ill-fated trade for quarterback Trey Lance, is this is a very deep class if you need an offensive lineman.
"One AFC director of player personnel told WalterFootball.com:- Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball
"I haven’t even worked through my entire list, and I already have eight guys with starter grades.
It’s early, but this is a really strong class. Amarius Mims (Georgia) is probably the most impressive I’ve seen so far. The knock on him about not being physical is not true. He was toying and dominating the Ohio State ends in the playoff last year. The BYU kid (Kingsley Suamataia) is a physical freak, and he’s great in pass pro. We’re projecting the Duke kid (Graham Barton) inside to guard. He’s similar to Skoronski, but not as athletic but tougher, stronger. There are some sleeper tackles at Pitt (Matt Goncalves), Houston (Patrick Paul), and Illinois (Julian Pearl). Some guys are going to fall and be really good values.""
Sometimes, you just need to be lucky, and it certainly doesn't hurt the 49ers that the position of greatest strength and depth in the upcoming draft also happens to fit in nicely with the position that the team should be looking at in terms of an upgrade.
San Francisco is focused on winning the Super Bowl and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but don't be surprised if the 49ers' team of scouts will be working hard and fast on the offensive linemen in this draft class.
It shouldn't shock if the Niners took several selections to bolster the trenches.