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49ers free agent targets 2015: Considering guard rankings

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The San Francisco 49ers are likely going to need to replace left guard Mike Iupati this year. Should they add a veteran to the mix? We have some rankings of free agent guards.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers head into free agency having already added Darnell Dockett and Jerome Simpson to the roster. They are likely far from done with veteran additions, but they have filled some basic needs. If Dockett's knee responds well, they have added serious talent at defensive tackle. Simpson is more of a flier at wide receiver, but if he can stay out of trouble, he is an intriguing down-field threat.

The free agency negotiation period begins on Saturday, and the 49ers likely will have their fingers in a few different free agency pies. The team's needs depend in part on what exactly they do with some of their own free agents. One guy most people expect to depart is guard Mike Iupati. The market is expected to be fairly significant for Iupati, and odds are pretty good it will grow beyond what the 49ers will be willing to pay him.

If that ends up being the case, the team has to consider its options at the left guard position. When the 49ers kick off their offseason workout program, Brandon Thomas or Joe Looney would likely be viewed as the No. 1 guard. Marcus Martin and Daniel Kilgore might also factor in there, based on how their competition goes at center. Whatever the case, the position would be fairly young, with some questions as to how the team would replace Iupati.

With that in mind, I thought we could take a look at some of the veteran guards out there. My guess is the team finds a veteran to come in and compete. And if Thomas's knee is not 100 percent come August, and/or Joe Looney is not looking like a decent starting option, the team might want a veteran presence. Here is a full list of the free agent guards, courtesy of NFL.com.

Justin Blalock, Atlanta Falcons
Clint Boling, Cincinnati Bengals
James Brewer, New York Giants
James Carpenter, Seattle Seahawks
Daryn Colledge, Miami Dolphins
Willie Colon, New York Jets
Dan Connolly, New England Patriots
Vladimir Ducasse, Minnesota Vikings
Orlando Franklin, Denver Broncos
Nate Garner, Miami Dolphins
Todd Herremans, Philadelphia Eagles
Mike Iupati, San Francisco 49ers
John Jerry, New York Giants
Charlie Johnson, Minnesota Vikings
Mike Johnson, Atlanta Falcons
Davin Joseph, St. Louis Rams
Mike McGlynn, Kansas City Chiefs
Erik Pears, Buffalo Bills
Will Rackley, Baltimore Ravens
Jah Reid, Baltimore Ravens
Rob Sims, Detroit Lions

I had thought about coming up with a composite list of free agents at various pertinent positions. The problem with that is there is little rhyme or reason as to how various sites rank free agents. Some rank every single position, some combine all offensive linemen together, and some just do a "Top 100" or "Top 75" or whatever overall rankings. One issue that created is that some sites only had a couple players at a given position, while others had 10 or 15 players.

With that in mind, I just decided to find a handful of sites, and come up with their ranking of free agents at a given position. I came across eight sites that had some rankings, and went with them. ESPN has rankings created by Bill Polian, but to be perfectly honest, they're bat-[site decorum] crazy. He has C.J. Spiller ranked as one of the worst running backs in all of free agency. He had Perrish Cox graded the same as Chris Cook, near the bottom of the cornerbacks. And so, I found a few other sites. Here you go:

Walter Football PFF CBS Sports Matt Miller Shutdown Corner NFL.com PFT MMQB
Orlando Franklin Mike Iupati Mike Iupati Mike Iupati Mike Iupati Mike Iupati Mike Iupati Mike Iupati
Mike Iupati Orlando Franklin Orlando Franklin Orlando Franklin Clint Boling Clint Boling Orlando Franklin Clint Boling
Clint Boling Clint Boling James Carpenter Todd Herrmans James Carpenter James Carpenter Orlando Franklin
Justin Blalock James Carpenter James Carpenter Justin Blalock Clint Boling James Carpenter
James Carpenter Rob Sims Justin Blalock Justin Blalock Dan Connolly
Rob Sims Joe Berger Willie Colon Rob Sims
Todd Herremans Dan Connolly
Adam Snyder Rob Sims
Erik Pears John Jerry
Joe Reitz Mike Pollak
Charlie Johnson Erik Pears
Davin Joseph Charlie Johnson
Daryn Colledge Daryn Colledge
John Jerry Vladimir Ducasse
Paul Fanaika Joe Berger
Dan Connolly Jeff Linkenbach
Vladimir Ducasse