The San Francisco 49ers first string offensive line has featured some familiar faces in OTAs, but competition is likely to step up a notch heading into training camp. One notable competition could be at right tackle. Trent Brown is the incumbent, but the team signed Seattle Seahawks tackle Garry Gilliam. While Gilliam has struggled in the NFL, he brings some speed that might be a better fit than Trent Brown for Kyle Shanahan’s blocking scheme.
Brown is a huge man, and while he seems better suited for a power type scheme, he can move around well. Whether or not he can hold on to his job remains to be seen, but general manager John Lynch thinks Brown is off to a good start.
Lynch made an appearance on PFT Live, and Mike Florio asked him which player has pleasantly surprised him thus far. I expected a non-answer, but Lynch talked up Brown. He acknowledged the weight issues Brown has dealt with, and even said Brown has worked hard to slim down after showing up “a little heavy.” However, he thinks that if Brown can get his weight under control, “the sky is the limit with how good he can be.”
“I think Trent Brown, our right tackle. He’s a mountain of a man. I remember last year, I was calling the Denver Broncos preseason, and I was out at the joint practices between the Broncos and the 49ers, and I walked on the field — and I’m usually not phased because I’ve been around these players for a long time, playing and then in the broadcast booth — and I looked over and I said “Who is that? That’s the biggest man I’ve ever seen on a football field.” And it was Trent Brown. Then i watched him go toe-to-toe with Von Miller in one-on-ones and held his own. And Von said as much. He came back — he struggles to keep his weight down a little bit — he came back a little heavy, but he’s worked incredibly hard to bring that weight down. And I just think he’s got a lot of great football in front of him if he can control that weight and be consistent with it. And be accountable to us and his teammates. I just think the sky is the limit with how good he can be. he’s a guy who’s really jumped.”
As Lynch mentioned, Von Miller has offered praise for Brown. Last fall, Miller mentioned how Brown gave him a tough time. He thinks he knows how to use his tremendous length to his advantage.
The 49ers are making plenty of moves to shake things up on the line, but in an ideal world, Brown is able to emerge as the clear option at right tackle. It would give them a chance at a consistent book-end opposite Joe Staley, settling down the edges.