Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


ESPN names 49ers offensive line the worst pass-blocking unit in the NFL, thanks to its interior

Jun 7, 2019 at 11:07 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers offensive line was left mostly untouched this offseason. The same five starters from 2018 will be returning in 2019, and that's potentially a problem according to ESPN analytics writer Seth Walder.

Walder recently handed out NFL pass-blocking awards (because it's the offseason) and named the 49ers' big men up front as the worst pass-blocking offensive line in the NFL. He notes that a big focus this offseason was bolstering the team's struggling pass rush, but the lack of offensive line upgrades could be a mistake.

Walder wrote that the 49ers are solid at the anchor points with tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey. While good tackles are important when it comes to pass blocking, that doesn't mean as much if your interior linemen do a poor job at it.

"We know this because that's the problem the 49ers faced a year ago with the same set of offensive linemen we're expecting them to play in 2019," wrote Walder.

That could be a problem for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is returning from an ACL injury suffered last season.

"Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan must be banking on continuity resulting in interior O-line improvement," Walder adds. "Otherwise, Garoppolo's return to health will be for naught."

Staley on Wednesday discussed the continuity of the offensive line heading into the 2019 season.

"That is very rare in the NFL, especially in this day and age with free agency, and guys leaving, coming, and going, and everything, to keep the same group of five guys year after year," Staley said. "Hopefully we can do it not just this year but years forward.

"We feel very confident. The guys are working really, really hard right now to build on what we did last year. Last year was not perfect for us, but we have a lot to improve on. We're doing that right now. We're doing the little things right now in practice that we can do."

McGlinchey agrees with Staley.

"It's extremely important to have the five guys back in the same positions as we were last year," McGlinchey said. "It builds a lot of chemistry moving forward."

Center Weston Richburg was among the significant free agent signings last year. While he put up a career-worst Pro Football Focus grade of 51.9 in 2018, he played through much of the season while dealing with ongoing knee and quad injuries.

Richburg sustained his knee injury during a Week 4 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers but still managed to start 15 games. He underwent offseason surgery to take care of the injury but has missed the entire offseason program while rehabbing.

"I think it affected his play late in the year," general manager John Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area in January. "He was having trouble anchoring. We decided to go in there and get the thing cleaned up. It's going to be an extensive rehab. He'll be right up until training camp. We feel comfortable that the end result is it will allow him to perform to the great ability that he does have."

While guards Laken Tomlinson and Mike Person had adequate Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grades of 74.1 and 71.9, respectively, Richburg came in at 61.6. It was actually run blocking where each interior offensive linemen received their lowest grades (Richburg — 50.3, Tomlinson — 59.8, Person — 61.2).





More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers own PFF's top-ranked linebacker unit

By David Bonilla
Jun 8, 2021

Pro Football Focus continues its offseason rankings of each NFL position group. The most recent list looks at the linebacker units across the league. It doesn't take long to find the San Francisco 49ers. Their group of talented linebackers, led by Fred Warner, come in at No. 1. "The 49ers are one of the few teams to have multiple players featured in PFF's ranking of the top 32 linebackers entering 2021, and that makes them a very difficult group to top as a unit," wrote Sam Monson. Last month, San Francisco was represented twice within Pro Football



PFF lists Jimmy Garoppolo's contract as 49ers' worst, Jason Verrett's as the best

By David Bonilla
Jun 17, 2021

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus examined the NFC and named each team's best and worst contracts. He only looked at veteran contracts because, obviously, rookie deals offer great value. What makes a good contract? Value compared to production. It can't take up a lot of a team's salary cap, regardless of the position. However, you have to compare the contract to others who play the same position. "If an elite quarterback was making $30 million per year, with where the market is at this point at quarterback, that's great value relative to the position market," wrote Spielberger. So, which players are listed for the San Francisco 49ers? The best



Where ESPN's Barnwell ranks the 49ers' offseason

By David Bonilla
Jun 8, 2021

Last year, ESPN's Bill Barnwell had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the offseason. Of course, it was tough to vote against them, given they added a future Hall of Fame quarterback and built around him. That team ended up winning the Super Bowl and is once again Barnwell's pick this year for having the best offseason. "This encapsulates both free agency and the draft and measures what each team did versus our expectations heading into the offseason," Barnwell comments. The San Francisco 49ers came in at No. 9, making them the highest-ranked NFC West team. The Seattle Seahawks ranked at No.



49ers own PFF's No. 9 ranked offensive and defensive lines

By David Bonilla
Jun 7, 2021

How good do you think the San Francisco 49ers offensive and defensive lines will be in 2021? Pro Football Focus weighed in, ranking each group across the 32 NFL teams. Interestingly, both lines came in at No. 9 when ranked against their respective groups across the league. On the offensive line side, much of that is thanks to the re-signing of eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams. The veteran left tackle initially joined the 49ers last offseason via a trade from the Washington Football Team. "Trent Williams showed no rust after missing 2019 and finished with the highest grade among tackles in 2020 (91.9)," wrote analyst Steve


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone