The San Francisco 49ers roster has gone through tremendous changes since the new front office showed up. John Lynch brought in twenty new free agents before the draft and ten draft picks in 2017, providing a lot of new options from which to build the roster. Amongst all of the potential roster changes, several offensive starting position jobs are up for debate and today we will take a look at San Francisco’s 2017 position battle for offensive guard.
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The interior offensive line is locked up at center with the trade for Baltimore’s stud center Jeremy Zuttah. One of the guard spots will likely be manned by 2016 first round pick Joshua Garnett, who struggled mightily last year coming in at Pro Football Focus’ number 70 ranked guard. Garnett still possesses significant talent and will benefit from more development before giving up on him, though anything is possible when the front office changes.
But the other guard spot is wide open for a fun three way fight. Zane Beadles and Daniel Kilgore both started a lot of games for the 49ers last year and seem to have an early lead over Tim Barnes who came over from the division rival Rams this offseason.
All three have a history of playing a center, which seems to be of extreme value for new head coach Shanahan. Early on, player versatility seems to be of supreme importance for the rookie head coach and each of these players has something unique to offer.
Kilgore has the advantage in the run game, Barnes has the highest pass blocking consistency, while Beadles has a little bit of both but a much lower ceiling. Odds are that whomever finishes last on this list will be cut. The 49ers do not usually carry two backup interior lineman and with all of them having experience at center it will make the depth less of an issue.
Pro Football Focus recently ranked all 32 teams’ offensive lines going into the 2017 season and the 49ers came in at number 27. So the success of the San Francisco 49ers 2017 offense will be tied to the success of both starting guard spots, making this position battle an important one.
— 49ers and Fantasy (@JL_Chapman) June 3, 2017