Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #18 Laken Tomlinson

Gilbert Brink
Feb 13, 2020 at 8:23 AM


This series will be a rundown of the top 20 players for the 49ers' 2020 season. Each player will be analyzed from his 2019 performance, to the cost of the player and what his future with the 49ers looks like.

On August 31, 2017 the 49ers traded a 5th-round draft pick to the Detroit Lions for LG Laken Tomlinson. Ever since that day, Tomlinson has played a major role in Kyle Shanahan's re-build as he has held down the LG position for the past 3 seasons. Tomlinson is one of the unsung heroes of this 49ers team. Many people don't pay attention to the interior offensive line. While LT is the glamour position of the line, mostly because it is related to protecting the QB, the interior linemen play a major role in the Kyle Shanahan offense. The ability for interior linemen to be mobile and set non-traditional blocks is imperative in the 49ers run game. Tomlinson, while not stellar, has been consistent and reliable, and for the price of a 5th round pick, a consistent, reliable starting LG should be considered a steal.

2019 Performance


Linemen statistics aren't as easy to come by as those of the so-called "skill position players". One statistic that tells the story of Tomlinson is the number 4, that being he only had 4 penalties against him all season. Tomlinson had 2 false starts and 2 holding calls in all of 2019. Tomlinson also allowed 3 sacks on the season. PFF graded Tomlinson at 64.7 on the season, which placed him as the 3rd highest rated 49ers offensive lineman, trailing behind tackles Joe Staley & Mike McGlinchey.

2020 Cost


Tomlinson is under contract through the 2021 season. In 2020 he has a cap hit of $5.25 million. If the 49ers were to find a better option prior to 6/1/20, they would save $2.75 million by either trading or releasing him. After 6/1/20, the 49ers cap hit would be the full $5.25 million if they move him after this date.

Future Outlook


The most likely scenario would see Tomlinson playing out his current contract with the possibility of extending him in 2021. In June 2018 the 49ers extended Tomlinson, showing their pleasure with his performance and fit with the team. He is still relatively young (28) and has been injury free, starting 50 of 51 games as a 49er. The only issue that could possibly jeopardize Tomlinson's spot on this team is the cost. $5.25 million is a high price tag for a midldle of the road guard on a team with a tight budget. The question would become, who would replace Tomlinson? The only option currently on the roster is T Daniel Brunskill. Though he is listed as a tackle, Brunskill filled in for G Mike Person in 2019 and looked to have a bright future ahead of him. Brunskill is an exclusive rights free agent, which virtually guarantees he will be back with the team in 2020. With that being said, it's hard to imagine the 49ers moving Brunskill to guard as he seems to be the heir to the LT position when Joe Staley decides to retire. Expect Tomlinson at LG for at least the next 2 years, if not further into the future.



Next: No. 17 Dre Greenlaw
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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