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49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: Zane Beadles

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today we move on to guard Zane Beadles.

Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.

The San Francisco 49ers made a good decision when they brought in veteran Zane Beadles. That might not be a popular opinion given the fact that he’s not very good but an average veteran is usually better than an unknown rookie. It made sense for Beadles to come in and become a starter at left guard a season ago.

Beadles winded up starting games at left guard, tackle and center on top of that. Versatility is one of the biggest assets of the journeyman offensive lineman, and Beadles fits the bill perfectly.

At this point though, “fitting the bill” simply means being barely adequate at multiple positions. Beadles had some good games — he’s decent in pass protection and so-so in run blocking — and he also had some truly wretched performances. Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert are not easy quarterbacks to block for, but Beadles had his share of screw-ups.

This offseason, the 49ers brought in Jeremy Zuttah and then there are Daniel Kilgore, Joshua Garnett and Brandon Fusco. Those four are competing with Beadles for the three interior starting spots. Beadles has a shot at earning one of them, but personally I feel he’ll find a home as the primary backup for those three spots.

Beadles does prefer zone-blocking offenses, and his athleticism is definitely his strongest asset so he should find success in the outside-zone running scheme that will be implemented this year. That’s definitely something in his favor. But will it be enough?

Basic info

Age: 30 (31 on November 19)
Experience: 7 accrued seasons
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 305 lbs

Cap status

Beadles signed a three-year, $9.75 million contract with the 49ers last offseason. The deal came with $3.3 million in guarantees and I feel like his contract is right where it should be. He has a cap hit of just over $4 million for 2017, and the 49ers would save roughly $3.45 million in cap space by cutting him. The dead money hit would be just under $600,000.

Why he might improve

Beadles is learning an offense that plays to his strengths. He can move, and he’ll be asked to move a whole lot. He should rise to that challenge. He’s healthy and has three positions to potentially earn a starting role at, which should do well for his motivations. He is set to play for a very motivated, young head coach.

Why he might regress

He’ll turn 31 years old during the 2017 season, and he has never been anything but average. Sometimes he’s bad and sometimes he’s just below-average, but his ceiling has consistently been average. As he gets older, that floor will only get lower, and of course, he may not even earn a starting spot.

Odds of making the roster

He’s not a lock by any means. Obviously, if he earns a starting role then he’s not going anywhere but depending on who the 49ers eventually settle on for the right tackle job, Beadles could be needed as a swing tackle. Even if that’s not the case, he’d be a backup at the three interior positions and that’s obviously very important. He has more to offer as a backup than someone like Fusco. I’m gonna go with an 80 percent chance of making the roster.