Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers ready to consider Jake Brendel, rookies at center if Alex Mack doesn’t return

Apr 30, 2022 at 6:53 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers are still holding out hope that veteran Alex Mack decides to return for one more season as the team's starting center. Still, if he doesn't, the team is planning to move ahead with the options they have available, which will include taking a look at Jake Brendel as well as finding out if any of the team's recently-added rookies can hold down the position.

Mack, 36, is debating whether or not to enter retirement, even though he put together a solid performance with the 49ers last season. The 29-year-old Brendel has bounced around the league since signing with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2016. He's had stints with the Dolphins, Broncos, and Ravens in addition to the Cowboys and 49ers and has played in 37 total games, 16 of those with the 49ers last season. 49ers general manager John Lynch mentioned Brendel as a possibility when asked on Saturday why the 49ers didn't select a true center in the NFL Draft.

"There's a free agent class that's coming along that might include some candidates there as well," Lynch said. "You have these needs, but we also have Jake Brendel. He's not a household name, but we have a lot of confidence in his ability."

The 49ers drafted two offensive linemen on Day 3 of the draft in Spencer Burford of Texas-San Antonio (Round 4) and Nick Zakelj of Fordham (Round 6). Burford played guard and tackle in college while Zakelj was primarily a tackle, but the 49ers will probably see if either of them can play center.

"We feel like we drafted two inside guys," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "They both played tackle in college, we feel like we drafted two inside guys, but you want to see everyone at center. Usually have one center, but you've got to have somebody else who can play it."

Another option is guard Daniel Brunskill, who has played center in the past. Plus, the 49ers are reportedly expected to add two more candidates as undrafted free agents in Jason Poe of Mercer and Dohnovan West of Arizona State. The 49ers plan on taking whatever pieces they have available and finding out what the best option is in the months ahead.

"Dan's done that, so you definitely have an option there," Shanahan said. "Just talked about Jake Brendel, who we're excited about. So keeping our fingers crossed on Mack, but we got to plan and know we can't count on it... But we do the best with our picks, and I love the guys that we did add and an O-Lineman who can play inside. You hope they can play center, but we'll find that out in camp. Usually, you pick your best eight and roll with it."

As for Mack, the 49ers were caught a little off guard by him having second thoughts over continuing his career, but they certainly understand why he's considering hanging up his cleats.

"I think it did (catch us off guard) a little bit, but it's also understandable," Shanahan said. "Football's not the easiest thing to do, no matter how much you enjoy the competition. He's up there in age, but in terms of how he looks on tape and how he was, everyone knows he can still play. Whatever's best for him and his family, and I know that's something he's trying to work with."

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Jerry Rice on why 49ers QB Trey Lance is 'ready to go'

By Kirk Larrabee
Jul 2

Jerry Rice seems to be all aboard the Trey Lance train as the 2022 San Francisco 49ers season approaches. The legendary former 49ers receiver spoke briefly about Lance with KSBW-TV in Monterey this week while he was in the area promoting his energy drink, G.O.A.T. Fuel. Rice was asked about Lance during his appearance and said he likes his dual threat potential over what Jimmy Garoppolo brings to the table and that he thinks Lance is ready to take over the team's starting quarterback spot this season. "Trey Lance, I think he's ready to go," Rice said. "And I think he's incredible because he has that one aspect that Jimmy doesn't have, and that's the threat of running with the ball and stuff like that. So his mobility, his strong arm, and this guy, he's before his

Ex-49ers QB Alex Smith shares story of daughter's emergency brain surgery

By David Bonilla
Jun 25

Retired NFL quarterback Alex Smith will forever be remembered for the courage it took to return to the league after suffering a horrific leg injury that nearly cost him his life. While with Washington, Smith sustained a spiral and compound fracture to his tibia and fibula in his right leg. Many assumed the injury was career-ending. Smith returned to the football field in 2020, earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors before retiring last offseason. On Saturday, Smith shared the story of his family's latest struggle. In May, his daughter, Sloane, had to undergo brain surgery to remove a large and rare type of cancerous tumor. The good news is that neurosurgeons removed the entire tumor, and it sounds like Sloane is recovering well. Smith

Arik Armstead calls Warriors' championship 'inspiring,' hopes 49ers can replicate success

By David Bonilla
Jun 22

The San Francisco 49ers have come close to hoisting the franchise's sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy. They fell just short during the 2012 season, losing 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens. Seven years later, they fell short again, collapsing in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl and watching as the Kansas City Chiefs celebrated a championship. Last season, the 49ers were a play or two away from returning to sports' biggest stage, falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC title game. San Francisco can't get over the hump. On Monday, the Bay Area celebrated the Golden State Warriors' seventh championship as thousands of fans swarmed Market Street for the parade. It's an inspiring sight for the championship-hungry 49ers. "Yeah,

One area Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers must improve

By Marc Adams
Jun 22

Two massive games. Two double-digit 4th quarter leads. Two heart-breaking losses. You can stop right there and fans of the San Francisco 49ers know exactly what you're talking about. Painfully, the franchise that once referred to itself as "Camelot," and became the first NFL team to win five Super Bowls, has experienced some difficult losses. There were three consecutive heartbreaking losses in the Jim Harbaugh days. And now Kyle Shanahan's 49ers have lost two big games, Super Bowl LIV in February 2020, and the NFC Championship Game earlier this year. And we're not even discussing the dark years when the team struggled under the likes of Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, Jim Tomsula, and Chip Kelly. Those names make me want to throw up. Whether it's that


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone