The San Francisco 49ers offensive line has been a mess this season. Joe Staley and Trent Brown looked good for stretches, but injuries have become a problem. The interior of the line has been more problematic, with Laken Tomlinson, Daniel Kilgore, and Brandon Fusco struggling to get things together. It’s safe to say we will see some notable changes this offseason.
Over at Bleacher Report, Doug Farrar’s scouting team put together a look at one free agent every team should sign. The 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo earlier this week, and while they need to figure out his long-term contract status, the QB position is mostly settled at this point from an offseason analysis perspective. The 49ers have a ton of cap space, and even if they give Garoppolo a huge contract extension, they‘ll have plenty of money to play with next spring.
Farrar’s team suggested an offensive guard as a significant move the 49ers could make this offseason. They need more protection for Jimmy Garoppolo, and swapping out at least one guard makes sense. Joshua Garnett will return from IR, but as a holdover from GM Trent Baalke, his job is not safe. The 49ers will bring in plenty of competition for the line, and B/R’s initial suggestion is Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort.
The Colts offensive line has struggled, but analyst Ethan Young did not put that on Mewhort.
Signing a Colts lineman to fix your OL may sound like a bad idea in theory, but don't pin the Colts' blocking woes the last few years on Mewhort. The upper-body strength and hand placement on his tape are impressive, and his consistency from a technical standpoint stands out as well, Mewhort has battled some injuries and admittedly not looked quite his best this year, but his body of work and level of play when he's right are unlike anything on the 49ers roster.
The 49ers could need a center as well, with Daniel Kilgore in the final year of his contract. The team needs to develop plenty of talent through the draft, but adding some veteran offensive line help to surround Garoppolo makes a lot of sense. The guard market will include Mewhort, Justin Pugh, and Andrew Norwell.