Before the San Francisco 49ers can become a contender, the team needs improved play from their offensive line.
Earlier this week, Pro Football Focus released their latest offensive line rankings; PFF ranked the 49ers’ line near the bottom of the league:
27. San Francisco 49ers – Left tackle Joe Staley is the only saving grace for the 49ers, but at 32 years old, even he isn’t the All Pro force he once was. If there is any hope for this line, it comes in the form of guard Josh Garnett. The first-round pick in 2016 was a nightmare in pass protection as a rookie, finishing dead last in pass-blocking efficiency.
It’s hard to argue with the 49ers’ ranking, although the team’s offensive line play should improve in 2017, provided the group stays healthy.
Going back to the end of last season, here’s what PFF had to say about the 49ers’ 2016 offensive line:
28. San Francisco 49ers – We are entering the realms of units with almost nothing to point to in terms of positives coming out of the 2016 season. LT Joe Staley was solid, but had his worst season since 2011; pass protection was the facet in which he suffered the biggest drop. Everybody else on the line struggled, with the best performer ending the season with an overall grade of 72.8 (Daniel Kilgore). Carlos Hyde was the team’s leading rusher, but 662 of his 988 rushing yards came after contact, and QB Colin Kaepernick added 337 yards on pass-play scrambles alone, inflating the 49ers’ rushing numbers beyond what the line actually gave them with its blocking.
Did the San Francisco 49ers do enough this offseason to improve their offensive line?