5 prospects 49ers can draft to upgrade the offensive line

The game starts in the trenches, and here's how the 49ers might be able to make theirs stronger in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Jordan Morgan (77)
Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Jordan Morgan (77) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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player. 3. 521. Troy Fautanu. . Troy Fautanu. . Troy Fautanu. Offensive Tackle.

No. 3: Troy Fautanu, Washington

Perhaps one of the less-heralded choices for the 49ers' first-round pick, Washington's Troy Fautanu is a tackle/guard tweener made up of brute strength and athleticism, often overwhelming opponents with sheer power and bulk inside.

The fact that he comes from one of college football's most proficient passing offenses also means that his pass protection, often a weakness of bulky, powerful blockers, is equally strong, only allowing three sacks in his college career.

Due to this pass-protection skill, he would likely appeal in the same way as Jordan Morgan and Amarius Sims. What he has over Morgan is arm length, sitting comfortably in the acceptable range for a tackle, while his age (he's due to turn 24 years old during his rookie season) gives him a little more seasoning as well as a higher floor than Sims, if not the same ceiling.

The questions around Fautanu likely relate to that ceiling more than anything else. While he's got plug-and-play potential, it's reasonable to assume that he might not develop into a top-end tackle, given the amount of football he's already played.

More than most, he projects as a pure right tackle or possibly even fits better at guard, given his size, so this limits his potential to replace someone like Trent Williams long-term.

Still, Fautanu is a solid prospect who will certainly be in consideration, and he's a big part of a deep draft at tackle.