You heard it from me several times leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft: “O-line, O-line, O-line.”
Yet, in the draft, the San Francisco 49ers made only one pick on the offensive line. Their first pick was Mike McGlinchey, a tackle that was to replace a soon-to-be jettisoned starting right tackle. The move was more a salary cap pick than anything else. Quenton Nelson was a pipe dream and any other guard the 49ers could have was either passed or snatched before they theoretically would have a chance.
The pickings are slim for the undrafted free agents also — one center and a player classified as “OL” (Andrew Marshall, he’s listed as a tackle). With all the questions at guard, one would think the 49ers would address it. Laken Tomlinson was uninspiring and Joshua Garnett looks good, but hasn’t played a full season in his career. John Lynch himself even said there was a need to improve that unit a couple months back. Their only addition to that unit this offseason (aside from Garnett coming off injured reserve) is Jonathan Cooper on a one-year contract.
Since then, no guards selected in the draft.
It can be taken as a statement from the 49ers. Translation: “We don’t need a guard.”
Whether you like it or not, we’re going to see how Joshua Garnett pans out next year and Laken Tomlinson as well. Weston Richburg will hold down center, Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey will run tackle, but the 49ers are apparently happy with who they have at guard right now (or the possibilities in Garnett’s case). Let’s not forget Erik Magnuson or the recent ly signed of Jonathan Cooper. There’s also Zane Beadles but the less said about him the better.
A draft with no picks for guards from a team that desperately needed help on the interior in 2017 says one thing: They are comfy where they are. They better be, because that Los Angeles Rams defensive line is definitely comfortable with it. They have Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald coming.
Jimmy Garoppolo can only get the ball out so fast.