Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the San Francisco 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.
So earlier on Tuesday in the Golden Nuggets, I wrote a bit about San Francisco 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin to try and generate some discussion. Then I realized the 90-in-90 post on Goodwin wasn't done yet, or even claimed by anyone, so I figured we'd give it a full post proper.
Goodwin came to the 49ers when San Francisco was still trying to patch together its offensive line. The 49ers needed a center, and though Goodwin had made the Pro Bowl in the past, few expected him to play to that level at this point in his career. While we probably can admit that this is true, Goodwin has started every game at center since arriving in 2011 and has been solid.
The 49ers have the best offensive line in the league, and if Goodwin was less-than solid, that probably wouldn't be true anymore. That said, Pro Football Focus rated him the No. 10 center in the league last season, and gave him a 10.7 grade in run blocking.
Many have felt the 49ers would address the position, but they have yet to do so. Goodwin is 34 years old and Daniel Kilgore may or may not be the starting center of the future. There's also guys like Joe Looney and the like, but really, who knows how they'll pan out? For now, Goodwin is the guy, and there's not much reason to suspect he can't keep being that guy until his body doesn't let him anymore.
Why he could improve in 2013
Goodwin is plenty fit and center is one of those positions that generally allows for more longevity. He struggled with pass protection here and there last season, and him bouncing back wouldn't be the oddest thing. He's working next to Mike Iupati and Alex Boone, both of which are players who could improve next year, which would certainly help Goodwin keep his game steady.
Improvement isn't out of the realm of possibility and really, it's not all that unlikely.
Why he could regress in 2013
Then again ... he is 34. You can make the age argument both ways, but he'll only get older from here on out. He's played full season after full season, and he was never a physical powerhouse to begin with. Goodwin could hit the age wall at 100 miles per hour this season, and if Alex Boone slumps in his second full year as a starter, then things on the interior of the offensive line could start to look pretty ugly.
Odds of making the roster
Guys like Kilgore and Looney might be competing for the backup role, but the starting job is unquestioned. Goodwin will make the roster and there won't be a competition for his job during training camp. All he has to do is show up and prove he's still the player that the 49ers believe him to be and it's all gravy.