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Getting to know 49ers rookie right guard Najee Toran

The 49ers got a rookie UDFA to start at guard Sunday. Let’s take a look at him.

The San Francisco 49ers’ right guard position has been crunched with injuries. Joshua Garnett remains out with a dislocated toe and Mike Person has a foot strain. This opens the doors of opportunity for some others. Enter rookie guard Najee Toran who has been activated off the practice squad and slotted in to start Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

In my 90-on-90 for him there was little available to evaluate. I got a look at his game against USC (when he played with UCLA) and while I didn’t hate what I saw, I also knew he would need development to have a chance. His run blocking is not something that I’m hopeful for at the NFL level while his pass protection had its moments. His upper and lower body seemed to disconnect at times as well. Still, with development, I thought the 49ers may have something with this guy.

When I said “development,” I was of the mindset he’d be kept off the field for at least a year, not for just one game. That is where we are right now with the 49ers’ injury list. This gives Toran a huge opportunity to impress and show he belongs on the roster.

I’ve already gone over his college play in my post linked above, but I wanted to get a look at his preseason play as well. Jeff Deeney at Pro Football Focus tweeted out his preseason numbers which I’ll show below:

Those numbers are not very comforting. Toran came in the second half of games and faced other third and fourth stringers. In the preseason finale, he did the same and did better, but I am allocating that on the fact that the Los Angeles Chargers went to the bottom of the well towards the end to get exposure for all the talent about to be cut.

Provided Garnett and Person can’t suit up Sunday, the 49ers have Matt Tobin behind Toran if the latter doesn’t work out or gets injured. Tobin has the experience Toran lacks, but he’s also bounced around the league. In 2017, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks and knowing he couldn’t get a single start in his time there with the Seahawks’ line issues doesn’t help his stock.

Pick your poison at right guard, I suppose.