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49ers 90-in-90: OG Laken Tomlinson

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is offensive guard, Laken Tomlinson.

Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The interior offensive line of the San Francisco 49ers will be something to monitor in 2019. Last year, they were above average as a unit against the run. Pass protection was a different story. Some of that is on the quarterback. Still, the offensive line surrendered 175 pressures in 2018, which was 23rd among offensive lines. A critical step for the team in 2019 is improved pass-protection for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Laken Tomlinson is fully recovered from his MCL tear during the season finale. Tomlinson played over 1,000 snaps last year. That is the dependability the 49ers need. The former first-round pick of the Detroit Lions graded out at a 64.2 last year for PFF, which is slightly below average. Defenders didn’t get to quarterbacks when facing Tomlinson, but he did surrender more pressure than you would have hoped. Tomlinson was 15th in total pressures for all guards in the NFL.

Basic Info

Age: 27

Experience: 4 accrued seasons

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 312 pounds

Cap Status

Tomlinson signed a 3-year contract extension last June. His cap number is $3.75 million for 2019. Tomlinson can earn up to $400,000 this year through per game roster bonuses and can make $100,000 work out bonus each year starting this year as well.

What to expect in 2019

Whenever I watch a Kyle Shanahan-led offense, his offensive lines act as one. Are there good players? Of course. Tomlinson has shown he isn’t going to be an Andy Levitre 2016 level of guard that dominates everyone he faces, and that’s fine With the 49ers, Tomlinson doesn’t have to be.

Where he does need to improve is limiting pressures. Tomlinson can’t get beat simultaneously with the snap. That happened more than it should have last year. If Tomlinson can keep his sack/quarterback hits number under five—as he did in 2018—while shaving a few pressures off his total, it will be a quality year for Tomlinson.

Tomlinson will need to be dependable once again. If that’s the case, the 49ers shouldn’t have any complaints. Having a starter on the offensive line play at a competent level for under $4 million is a bargain.