Alright let me start by saying that I love the direction the 9ers organization chose to go in this summer by drafting two O linemen in the first round. As seen around the league a strong O-line is the key to success in any circumstance. All the best quarterbacks (Brady, Manning, Brees, etc) are found in teams that value their O line and make conscious efforts every year to improve their O line in the future and present. Today I believe our O line looks like it will be one of the top in a few years, but I have some lingering fears.
My first fear is leadership, or rather the lack of it. Heitmen is what I would consider the anchor to our O line, and his absence has hurt us more than we realize. This being said I don't think Hietmen is a Pro-Bowl player in this league. Staley would be our next in line to be recognized as the leader, however he is still young, and I would prefer a vet to be the mentor for a line this young.
The next fear is the right guard position. Snyder and Rachel have proven that they are far from the talent that is necessary to reach the level of elite that we strive for. Baas could be helpful here when Heitmen returns, but until he proves it I will remain skeptical. I believe the rest of the line is set for now and just needs time to mature and grow together.
This brings me to my main point. The niners must look into Logan Mankins, the New England Patriots ProBowl guard, who is currently the only other player other than Vincent Jackson to be holding out. The situation in Foxborugh has turned ugly between the OG and ownership and no solution appears to be in sight. If we bring him in he will solidify our G position, and bring the crucial leadership to our young line that could push them to the next level.
Looking at New England's track record, I'm sure they would be more than happy to trade for a 2nd and 4th or 5th rounder. They already have two first round picks this year and I highly doubt they want to make a large financial commitment to three rookies. New England usually loves early picks in the 2nd and 3rd and ours look to be promising as of now (LOOKS, I still believe we can turn it around*). At that price I believe both organizations will be happy, and Logan Mankins will be happy to come into a situation where he not only will get paid, but it will only improve in the years to come. Seems like a no-brainer to me seeing as our O line has not performed stellarly to this point.