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Should the 49ers continue their rotation at right guard?

The snap counts were close between Burford and Brunskill against the Panthers

San Francisco 49ers Training Camp Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The offensive line played another clean game against the Panthers, despite Carolina having a premier pass rusher in Brian Burns. Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked twice and hit once, but it’s important to remember that they get paid on the other side of the ball.

Last week, offensive line coach Chris Foerster said Daniel Brunskill deserved snaps at right guard. The splits were relatively even, as Spencer Burford played 40 snaps and Brunskill 33. Will a continued rotation be a determinant to Burford’s development?

At this point, the 49ers know what they have in Brunskill. He’s a veteran who knows where to be but is limited. Burford, on the other hand, is as raw as can be. His upside is palpable, though, and he’ll only improve with reps.

Sunday, PFF graded Burford 53.2 overall, compared to Brunskill’s 48.6. Each of those grades are well below average. Brunskill had a clean sheet in pass protection but struggled as a run blocker, while Burford’s grade suffered thanks to allowing a pressure.

On the season, Burford’s blown block percentage is 4.1 percent to go along with two penalties. He’s struggling as a run blocker, largely due to mental errors — which is to be expected for a Day 3 pick.

On the other hand, Brunskill isn’t doing any better. He boasts a blown block percentage of 4.8. And while there are no penalties, Brunskill’s 7.7 blown block percentage in pass protection is among the worst in the league.

Kyle Shanahan’s scheme and Jimmy’s ability to throw the ball off platform in the face of pressure help hide some of the deficiencies up front. The offensive line was always going to be a work in progress when you factor in three different starters. Now, the team is down to its third-string left tackle.

So with four new offensive linemen already in the fold, it’s difficult to see how rotating Brunskill will help. On the other hand, the line, especially without Trent Williams, was always going to be a sum of its parts and not a one-man show.

I’ll be curious to see how long the rotation at right guard continues and if we see one player take the reigns. You know the 49ers want Burford to win the job outright, but it’ll take time. So what do you think? Should the musical chairs continue at right guard, despite all of the other moving parts along the line?


Should the 49ers continue to rotate their starting guards?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    (356 votes)
  • 5%
    (50 votes)
  • 5%
    Start Brunskill
    (49 votes)
  • 48%
    Start Burford
    (422 votes)
877 votes total Vote Now