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Is Colton McKivitz a viable replacement for Mike McGlinchey?

Jaylon Moore is also an option. But we look at the real question the 49ers should be asking themselves heading into free agency

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The prevailing thought regarding Kyle Shanahan’s offenses is that the tackles are more valuable than the interior. The 49ers investments along the offensive line reflect this.

We’ve seen the offense weather the storm in year’s past when Trent Williams, Joe Staley, or Mike McGlinchey missed time. The Niners have multiple decisions to make this offseason, and none loom larger than retaining McGlinchey.

If the team elects to save the money they’d use on their 2018 first round pick, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco believes the McGlinchey’s replacement is already on the 49ers roster:

If McGlinchey next contract is deemed too expensive for the 49ers, it appears likely his replacement is already on the team.

Colton McKivitz has appeared in 28 games over three seasons with the 49ers, including five starts. He would appear to be next in line for the job.

McKivitz was a fifth-round draft pick from West Virginia in 2020. After appearing in 14 games with three starts as a rookie, McKivitz was released before the start of the next season and found his way back to the practice squad.

Maiocco also mentioned how Jaylon Moore could work his way into the mix at right tackle.

McKivitz played 65 snaps in 2022. It was his third season in the league, and I’d label him under “fine” during spot duty. But playing as a full-time opposite of Trent Williams comes with unspeakable pressure.

McKivitz, who turns 27 in August, must have the confidence of his coaches and teammates. We don’t know how he’s developed behind the scenes in practice. The same can be said for Moore, who was also a fifth-round pick.

Is McKivitz a viable replacement for McGlinchey? Maybe the better question is: Would you rather have McKivitz at right tackle paired with Ryan Jensen at center or Jordan Poyer at safety? If those are the alternatives, it’s difficult to pass up adding established high-end talent.