The San Francisco 49ers have added a potential swing tackle by selecting Justin Skule with pick No. 183 in the 2019 NFL Draft. This is an obvious development piece with hope that he might develop into a possible replacement for 49ers left tackle Joe Staley, or go to right tackle so current right tackle Mike McGlinchey can do so.
There’s not much on Skule but he has the size for the position at six feet, six inches, and weighing 315 pounds. His blocking has been hit or miss. He’s not going to be a dominating force on the line of scrimmage, but he is going to be someone to buy his quarterback just enough time to get the ball out before a defender comes in with a sack. He’s been able to stay with defenders and keep up with them, but there hasn’t been anything where he’s constantly pancaking someone or keeping his man on the outside. Defenders find a way around him often, but most often it’s too late.
Regardless on how important it is or not, the 49ers are going to need to figure out the offensive line for the next couple years. Joe Staley is playing at a high level, but only has a few more years left at left tackle. Skule has an opportunity to develop into a right tackle for when Mick McGlinchey moves over from right to left tackle or maybe he does even better and takes that left tackle spot.
NFL Media believes Skule can develop into a swing tackle:
Skule play both left and right tackle for the Commodores, and he started 40 consecutive games for Vanderbilt. “Top-heavy, high-cut swing tackle prospect who plays with a lack of bend and possesses average physical traits, but finds ways to get guys blocked using technique and football intelligence,” Zierlein writes. He gives Skule a seventh-round/UDFA grade, meaning there’s a chance he is a priority free agent if he doesn’t hear his name called on Saturday.
This means that Skule can fill in for guard as well as tackle. If the 49ers plan on developing him as the tackle of the future, Skule can be useful as a blocker in several situations. Given that some have seen him as a possible undrafted free agent, it might have been a reach at six, but the 49ers don’t have a seventh round pick.
Vanderbilt Offensive line vs. Kentucky (No. 58):
Started 40 consecutive games in competitive SEC
Has experience at both tackle positions
Uses good landmarks in the zone blocking
Adequate balance to work through spin counters by rushers
Strong grip to cinch and secure
Will look for work to protect his quarterback
Keep his chin tucked and back flat in his past sets
Initial footwork and quickness to reach and seal
49ers draft picks
1. First round: No. 2 overall Nick Bosa, Defensive end, Ohio State
2. Second round: (36 overall)Deebo Samuel, Wide receiver, South Carolina
3. Third round: (67 overall)Jalen Hurd, Wide receiver, Baylor
4. Fourth round: (110 overall) Mitch Wishnowsky, Punter, Baylor
5. Fifth round: (No. 148) Dre Greenwood, linebacker, Arkansas
6. Sixth round: (No. 176) Kaden Smith, tight end, Stanford
7. Sixth round: (183 overall) Justin Skule, OT, Vanderbilt
8. Sixth round: (198 overall)
Grade the pick!
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