The San Francisco 49ers have a bad offensive line. It is not a shocking revelation, and certainly not a hot take, but it is there nonetheless. The 49ers benched Colin Kaepernick this week, and somehow Marcus Martin, Jordan Devey, and Erik Pears all still have starting jobs. Kap deserves a share of the blame for the 49ers offensive woes, but the offensive line deserves plenty as well.
Pro Football Focus ranked out offensive lines earlier this week, and they did not rank the 49ers worst in the NFL! They ranked the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Miami Dolphins as the three worst offensive lines, with the 49ers a spot ahead of them. Here is how the team rank in PFF's grading. The rankings are for pass blocking, run blocking, and penalties, in that order:
29. San Francisco 49ers - 16th, 32nd, 4th
30. Miami Dolphins - 27th, 30th, t-8th
31. Detroit Lions - 29th, 26th, 20th
32. Seattle Seahawks - 32nd, 29th, 17th
PFF rates Joe Staley as a still solid left tackle option, ranking No. 6 among tackles. Marcus Martin rates out as the worst center in the league, while Jordan Devey ranks No. 55 out of 56 guards. Alex Boone ranks 36th among guards, while Erik Pears ranks No. 53 out of 60 tackles. All in all, it's pretty awful.
My preferred offensive line statistical analysis comes from Football Outsiders. They look at adjusted line yards to measure an offensive line in run blocking, and adjusted sack rate to consider them in pass protection. The 49ers rank dead last in adjust line yards, and No. 30 in adjusted sack rate.
And somehow, Devey, Pears, and Martin are deemed worthy of being in the starting lineup. Devey makes the least sense, with Andrew Tiller showing enough to justify moving him into the starting lineup. I imagine Trenton Brown has not shown enough for the 49ers to feel comfortable moving him in ahead of Pears. And the team's only option at center for now is Ian Silberman. Oh, and let's not forget that Brandon Thomas has not been able to beat out anybody for playing time. All in all, a fine situation to be in!