The 49ers don’t have too many roster holes entering 2022, however the glaring must plug the gap at center still concerns analysts over at NFL.com.
In a great world, veteran Pro Bowl center Alex Mack would have waited yet one more 12 months before officially retiring from the league.
That may have been a a lot better case for the San Francisco 49ers, who nevertheless watched as Mack announced his retirement just prior to the team’s mandatory minicamp earlier this spring.
With second-year quarterback Trey Lance poised to take over starting duties in 2022, the Niners would have preferred to have experienced blockers like Mack up front. Already with a latest face at left guard in second-year pro Aaron Banks, and with concerns right tackle Mike McGlinchey won’t be one hundred pc after tearing his quad last season, San Francisco’s offensive line is starting to appear to be the shakiest unit on your entire roster heading into training camp.
Mack’s departure creates no relief.
NFL.com cites 49ers center as one in all ’10 biggest holes’ still needing to be filled across the league
The 49ers are making loads of top-10 lists on the market entering the upcoming season, which is frequently an excellent thing.
Within the case of NFL.com’s recent breakdown of the 10 biggest holes remaining on team rosters this season, being on this category isn’t necessarily great news.
Actually, the Niners’ void at center got here in at No. 2 on that list:
Alex Mack’s retirement this offseason put the Niners in a tricky position on the pivot. The present decisions are: veteran Jake Brendel, who played just six offensive snaps last season and hasn’t began a game since 2018; Daniel Brunskill, who would move over from guard, creating one other hole on the inside; rookie sixth-round pick Nick Zakelj, who played OT primarily in college; or undrafted rookie free agent Dohnovan West. The instability at center is very concerning, given San Francisco is handing the reins over to Trey Lance this season. Importing a veteran — i.e., JC Tretter — may very well be the perfect choice to plug the gap without counting on inexperience in any respect three interior O-line spots.
The mentioning of Tretter, who was a mainstay for the Cleveland Browns the last five years, is nothing latest, and head coach Kyle Shanahan has long preferred veterans over rookies and second-year pros at this spot.
Yet Tretter stays unsigned.
Within the interim, at the least based on what San Francisco’s plan appears to be for now, the contingency option can be to go along with Mack’s primary backup in 2021, journeyman reserve lineman Jake Brendel, who has just three regular-season starts since breaking into the league way back in 2016.
The 49ers could, feasibly, move projected starting right guard Daniel Brunskill over to center, which is something he did back in 2020 amid a rotating door there that season, yet this may effectively create a wholly latest opening in his current spot.
Perhaps Shanahan and the Niners will eventually tabbed as geniuses for giving Brendel the starting nod, or the move and non-moves could ultimately backfire in the wrong way.