Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Why Kyle Shanahan feels the 2021 49ers O-line may be his best yet

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 11, 2021 at 10:45 AM--

The offensive line for the San Francisco 49ers hasn't been a huge focus for the team since Kyle Shanahan arrived as the head coach in 2017.

In fact, the team has only drafted two offensive lineman within the first four rounds of the draft over the past five years: RT Mike McGlinchey in 2018 and G Aaron Banks this year in the second round.

However, the team has made significant strides in other moves to improve the offensive line, trading a third and a fifth round pick for star LT Trent Williams during last year's draft before signing him to an extension this offseason, and picking up Alex Mack as the starting center this offseason as well.

With Shanahan's run/play-action oriented offense, a strong offensive line is necessary to work both the edges and the interior when moving up the field.

With the new additions, is this the best offensive line of the coach's NFL career?

"Yeah, I do believe so," Shanahan told Greg Papa this past week during a feature for NBC Sports Bay Area. "I mean, we've got to go out there and do it, but going into this season, as far as both of our edges, both of our guards, and our center -- I think we've got some good backups, some veterans and some young rookies, who can help too. So, I feel great going into this season."

A key aspect of this offensive line is that the team has experience both playing together and with the system, as Alex Mack played with Shanahan during the coach's Atlanta Falcon days.

"Most of our guys have played together. I know Alex [Mack] is new, but he also knows the system pretty well. So, he fit in the first day very well. The experience that [Daniel] Brunskill has had everywhere. Laken [Tomlinson] just being there every week for a number of years.

"And everyone knows about Trent [Williams] and Mike [McGlinchey], what he's gone through in these three years, getting better each year, and I love how he's looking now that I can't wait to see him this year."

This new-and-improved offensive line sets to take the field Sunday, with all five starters healthy, and will look to be the building block of the 49ers's offense for this upcoming season, regardless of who is at quarterback.

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