The San Francisco 49ers offensive line was not good in 2015, with injuries and roster turnover costing the unit in a big way. Daniel Kilgore took longer than expected to recover from his ankle injury, and the team lost Mike Iupati to free agency and Anthony Davis to retirement. The team brought in Erik Pears and Jordan Devey to help fill the gaps, but Devey was a mess, and Pears was out of place at tackle.
One of the worst parts about the 49ers troubles was the age of the group. Our friends at Pats Pulpit put together a ranking of all 32 NFL offensive lines sorted by snap-weighted age. Basically, they took the total snap counts of each player, and figured out the average age for each line. The 49ers were the second oldest team at 28.6, surpassed only by the New York Jets.
The 49ers starting offensive line at the beginning of last season was as follows (with age Week 1 of the 2015 season, followed by birthday):
LT Joe Staley - 31 (August 30)
LG Alex Boone - 28 (May 4)
C Marcus Martin - 21 (November 29)
RG Jordan Devey - 27 (January 11)
RT Erik Pears - 33 (June 25)
Over the course of the season, the team added in Andrew Tiller (26, March 13), Daniel Kilgore (28, December 18), and Trenton Brown (22, April 13). Heading into the coming season, the team could potentially add Anthony Davis (26, October 11) to the mix.
The line will get a little older with Staley adding a year, and Kilgore potentially starting at center most of the year. Pears moved to right guard by season's end, with Trenton Brown getting some run at right tackle. One option for 2016 is Brown at right tackle and Anthony Davis at right guard. We could still see Pears get some right guard work, but there is a lot of opportunity for change on the right side of the line. Add in Alex Boone's likely departure, and barring a big name veteran addition, the average snap-weighted age hopefully comes down a bit in 2016.