Over the last few years, the San Francisco 49ers have managed to put together what most would agree is the best starting linebacker corps in football. When three of the four linebackers earn first team All-Pro honors, and the fourth linebacker nets second team All Pro honors, I'm not sure anybody will be doing much better.
That being said, there is always room for more depth. One 49ers free agent of note is linebacker Larry Grant. Although he spent most of 2012 with the special teams units, he showed in late 2011 where his value lies. As the primary backup to Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, Grant earned a pair of starts when Willis suffered a hamstring injury. Willis made his way back by Week 17, but Grant was quite solid in his stead.
Larry Grant is likely going to have an opportunity to test free agency now that he is an unrestricted free agency. If he walks, the 49ers will most assuredly need some new linebacker help. I suspect the team will look into some options in free agency, but they may look toward the draft as well. A young linebacker can be groomed as a backup to their all-world linebackers, but he can also become a fixture on special teams.
Here are the height, weight and arm size measurements of this year's linebackers.
|Sam Barrington||South Florida||6-1||246||32.28|
|Arthur Brown||Kansas State||6-0||241||32.48|
|Jamie Collins||Southern Mississippi||6-3||250||33.68|
|Brandon Hepburn||Florida A&M||6-2||240||32.48|
|Gerald Hodges||Penn State||6-1||243||32.08|
|Devonte Holloman||South Carolina||6-1||243||32.48|
|A.J. Klein||Iowa State||6-1||250||32.78|
|Jake Knott||Iowa State||6-2||243||31.08|
|Brandon Magee||Arizona State||5-11||223||28.68|
|Michael Mauti||Penn State||6-2||243||32.48|
|Nick Moody||Florida State||6-1||236||31.48|
|Sean Porter||Texas A&M||6-1||229||32.28|
|Kevin Reddick||North Carolina||6-1||243||32.28|
|Etienne Sabino||Ohio State||6-2||247||33.08|
|Jonathan Stewart||Texas A&M||6-4||242||32.58|
|Bruce Taylor||Virginia Tech||6-1||237||33.18|
|Manti Te'o||Notre Dame||6-1||241||32.48|