Tuesday night’s state of the franchise for the San Francisco 49ers focused on left tackles. Joe Staley was present, and he had high some high praise for Trent Williams. Staley told Keiana Martin the following:
Trent is someone I’ve watched my whole entire career as someone [who shows] how to do it at the highest level. His athleticism is, I think, unparalleled in the NFL as far as left tackles. What he’s able to do out in space, at the point of attack, he’s really perfect for Kyle’s scheme, offensively.
Like Jed said before, it was really important to me to be able to keep the 49ers in a position where they weren’t screwed over by my retirement and creating a big void there on the offensive line. Not only that but just kind of a leadership (and) veteran presence. For the organization to kind of pivot from me to Trent Williams, I don’t think you can do much better.
He’s one of the absolute best in the game at left tackle. Everybody that’s played with him says he’s an unbelievable person (and), teammate. He’s a veteran guy that knows how to get things done. He’s done it at a high level for a long time.
Not only are the 49ers getting one of the best left tackles in the NFL, but they are also getting a motivated Williams that will be fresh for the first time in a long time.
General manager John Lynch told Greg Papa Tuesday night that the Niners inquired about Williams once Staley and Mike McGlinchey went down with injuries last season:
We had made a call about it in the last season when Joe and McGlinchey were hurt, thinking, wow, this could be an option. When those guys come back, maybe we play him at guard. The trade, obviously, didn’t happen during the season. It did happen, however, during the third day of this year’s draft.
It was too much compensation at that point. It just wasn’t going to work. We just kept in constant contact. We didn’t have anything to do on Day 2. So I just wore Ron Rivera out, and fortunately, on Day 3, he woke up, he texted me and said, ‘Let’s talk.’ And we were able to do that deal.
By the sounds of it, the 49ers benefitted from not having a Day 2 pick as Lynch’s focus turned to landing Williams. I wonder if Lynch offered the same picks he ended up using to acquire Emmanuel Sanders from the Broncos. Lynch, like everyone else, is excited about having Williams on his roster:
Really excited about it. Trent’s a phenomenal player. He’s replacing a phenomenal player in Joe. [He’s] incredibly motivated. He did not play football last year, so there’s going to be some rust that he’s going to have to knock off. What we know is that he’s feeling great, and we got a really good player replacing a guy who deserves Hall of Fame consideration, in my mind, in Joe Staley.