49ers Combine primer: OL

What kind of offensive linemen will the 49ers look for this year at the NFL Combine? It starts Thursday.

Trent Baalke typically looked for behemoths who couldn’t move particularly well — think Mike Iupatia and Anthony Davis. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan probably will look for lighter, quicker offensive linemen. Check out Shanahan’s O-linemen on the Falcons last season:

LT Jake Matthews:
6-5, 305 lbs., 5.07 40-yard dash, 1.75 10-yard split
LG Andy Levitre:
6-2, 303 lbs., 5.40 40-yard dash, 1.92 10-yard split
C Alex Mack:
6-4, 311 lbs., 5.17 40-yard dash, 1.75 10-yard split
RG Chris Chester:
6-3, 303 lbs., 4.88 40-yard dash, 1.67 10-yard split
RT Ryan Schraeder: 
6-7, 300 lbs., 5.13 40-yard dash, 1.75 10-yard split

T Kevin Graf: 6-6, 309 lbs., 5.03 40-yard dash, 1.76 10-yard split
T Carter Bykowski: 6-7, 313 lbs., 5.30 40-yard dash, 1.87 10-yard split
G Ben Garland: 6-5, 308 lbs., 5.07 40-yard dash, 1.76 10-yard split
G Wes Schweitzer: 6-5, 314 lbs., 5.15 40-yard dash, 1.75 10-yard split
T Tom Compton: 6-5, 308 lbs., 5.11 40-yard dash, 1.79 10-yard split

Notice none of them weigh more than 315 pounds, most weigh roughly 305 pounds and almost all run 40-yard dashes in 5.15 seconds with 10-yard splits of 1.75 seconds — or extremely close to those numbers.

Now check out the 49ers offensive linemen:

LT Joe Staley:
6-5, 315 lbs., 4.79 40-yard dash, 1.64 10-yard split
LG Zane Beadles:
6-4, 305 lbs., 5.28 40-yard dash, 1.84 10-yard split
C: Daniel Kilgore:
6-3, 308 lbs., 5.33 40-yard dash, 1.85 10-yard split
RG: Joshua Garnett:
6-5, 321 lbs., 5.32 40-yard dash, 1.84 10-yard split
RT: Trent Brown:
6-8, 355 lbs., 5.29 40-yard dash, 1.89 10-yard split

T John Theus: 6-6, 303 lbs., 5.22 40-yard dash, 1.80 10-yard split
G/T Fahn Cooper: 6-5, 303 lbs., 5.17 40-yard dash, 1.82 10-yard split
G/C Marcus Martin: 6-3, 321 lbs., 5.22 40-yard dash, 1.81 10-yard split
C Alex Balducci: 6-4, 310 lbs., 5.01 40-yard dash, 1.70 10-yard split

The only ones who seem to fit Shanahan’s specifications are Staley and Balducci.

Garnett, Brown and Martin are too heavy — they’re going to have to lose weight.

The rest simply may not be quick enough to function in Shanahan’s outside-zone running scheme.

During this week’s Combine, watch for offensive linemen who run 40-yard dashes in 5.15 seconds or faster. The Niners may draft one or more of those guys.

This article has 92 Comments

  1. Staley has always said he hated being at his weight. Now here’s his chance to slim down (slightly). Ironic if he gets traded.

    1. I think they missed their window to trade Staley. Will be 33 when the season starts and even the most ardent fan has to admit that he was starting to show his age this year. Baalke wasn’t smart or brave enough to trade players before they started to decline, something that Walsh and Belichick were/are both excellent at.

      1. Walsh could do that in the pre-cap era by grooming replacement players for a while. IMO, Bellichick can do pretty much anything on offense as long as Brady’s around and on defense, he looks for pieces to fit his scheme. A team can’t trade away its Pro Bowl LT without a decent replacement and I don’t think the Niners have found one yet. Staley did have a down year but the same can be said of most players in the team. His contracts have been a very good deal for the team so far although this year the cap hit is the highest in his career, $11M. But it falls to $7.7M for the next two seasons with $4.4M and $2.2M in dead money. So they can groom his replacement over the next 2 seasons. I don’t think they can find a FA LT of his caliber any cheaper.

  2. I think they will look at Chance Warmack in free agency.

    Played in Alabama’s zone run scheme and ran a 4.49 40. Player looking for an opportunity to restart his career after lackluster start. Worth giving a shot.

  3. Considering these players were on the Chip Kelly Slurpee Plan last year, you’d think they were at their optimum weight. Chances of them losing anymore might be slim to none. Given Shanny puts a premium on the Center position, I’d fully expect him to look for one like J.J. Dielman, Utah late. As for OT, Bolles would be ideal, but he’ll go too early. Dorian Johnson, Pitt would be a player they might take a look at, but he could be too rich too. A later draft-n- stash OT like Garcia, Troy could make sense….

    1. After his performance at the Senior Bowl, Garcia is now on every team’s radar. I wouldn’t wait too late for him, as he may go 3rd-4th. Given our other issues, that may be too soon for a Tackle who would back up his first couple years.

    2. true Razor, but you also have to consider these measurements are likely from the combine and are not current.

      Garnett seems athletic enough to adjust, Brown I am really skeptical on and may be some good trade bait, like I think you’ve mentioned before. I wonder what they can get for him? he’s obviously an up and comer with tremendous upside for a power scheme offense.

      ….oh and Martin just needs to go

      1. I think Garnett will be fine. Brown could be used as part of a trade for Garoppolupe. His strength is pass pro, and could prove enticing to Brady who’s looking to preserve his career….

        1. I listened to the Better Rivals podcast yesterday and he wasn’t so sure about Garnett. The big concern was Garnett’s ability to change direction. Neumann said he hadn’t seen much evidence that Garnett could do that effectively. He said that he often lost his balance when trying to change direction and wound up on the ground.

          1. The Garnet selection was a head scratcher. Even when he was selected, he didn’t fit Kelly’s offense. Trent selected his type of players regardless of fit. I feel bad for Kelly in this regard.

  4. I wish we could get metrics that are more up to date than their combine numbers as this information can be very misleading. In either case it is a snapshot.

    Will be fun to see how the team dynamics changes. Could mean quite a few changes moving forward. Wonder if the Gamble exit is a foreshadowing of the restructuring.

    My personal belief is that we will see a new face under center, given what I have heard, I’m not dissuaded. The language is still quite neutral and if anything slightly investigatory of other options.

    Am I excited? I am very cautious about what happens moving forward. This is a very young crew and can make a lot of mistakes.

  5. What was probably a strength overall might now seem to be a major overhaul or have to include some detailed coaching.
    I’m interested to see what happens with Trent Brown and Kilgore.

  6. I think that if Shanahan\Lynch believe the 9ers need a O line overhaul then they won’t be signing\drafting a franchise QB this year. You don’t put a franchise QB behind a rebuilding line. If the 9ers do rebuild their O line I think they will wait untill 18 to get their QB of the future. I could see them signing Glennon and having him compete with Ponder for the starting role. Grant I believe that the speed numbers you are using on Staley are about 10 years old. I don’t believe he is near as fast anymore. I’m still leaning towards a trade back to get one extra pick this year possible a 3rd and an extra 1st in 2018. Then they will draft an O lineman in the 1st rd, while trading up in 18 to get their franchise QB.

  7. 1. Kilgore is comparable to his Falcons counterpart on paper. Does that even mean anything?
    2. Yeah, I dont buy into the notion that if player A and B have an arm length of x , can bench press Y and a shuttle speed of Z then everything will be fine.

    3. The reality is we dont know how our O line will adapt to Shanahan and if Shanahan will make adjustments to incorporate strengths of the current o line

    4. We have plenty of time – OTA, training camp , preseason to work things out.

  8. Grant, also this piece is short, I think it is one of your better ones. Those 10-yard split numbers suggest to me that the line will be majorly rebuilt. Also, I find it amusing that although the team moved towards a ZBS two seasons ago, Baalke continued to draft power guys, especially spending such a high pick on Garnett.

    1. Because Blaake never worked with a coach and only pushed his own vision! No wonder there was a break down in communication and the teams success. He tried to hire Jim T so he could continue with his philosophy.

  9. What about Tiller? I think he would be good in zone blocking…..I think the only position we need to make a priority is C. I thought Kilgore was the weak link

      1. Tiller should get a decent contract in the right situation. He did some good things here and may have saved his career. Wish him the best.

        1. Yes, ply Kirk with some estate riesling ;) Though riesling’s an acquired taste for some. They should find out first if he’s a pinot or cab man.

          1. “I don’t always drink riesling, but of I do it’s Australian” — more fruity that the German variety. I am more of a red wine person, but will drink a decent riesling, esp. with east asian food.

              1. If you can find it, try the Pinot from James Family Cellars. A little pricey, $35 to $39, but a small winery gold medal winner.

              2. Windy Oaks


                Exquisite pinot. And no, I’m not saying that because this winery is owned by members of my family :)

    1. Good one! “John will introduce him to his friends, Kyle and Jed” — good that they left out the ever-present chaperone Paraag!
      Like that one contrasting the estate riesling dancing on the tongue at Napa vs. sitting at a K street bar squashed between Congressmen.

    1. He will be an asset for any OC with any imagination. Bad fit for those running traditional power schemes with below-average QB-play — pretty much like the offenses we’ve had since Mooch.

  10. Garnett has difficulty changing direction which is another problem for OL in an outside zone blocking system. I would keep an eye on the 3 cone drill and short shuttle results as well. Also Fahn Cooper was on the Practice Squad and not resigned to a futures contract. I think Balducci has a very good chance of making the 53 man roster and possibly a starting job at C/G, I like his chances better than Tiller’s.

  11. I just hope they play the players in their best positions.

    Maybe Balducci, Cooper and Theus can crack the starting lineup.

    Niners should bundle Staley and Martin to the Broncos for Shaquille Barrett.

    Wonder if Anthony Davis is in the mix since Baalke was fired.

    Niners starting line up could be-

    LT- Fahn Cooper
    LG – Joshua Garnett
    C- Zane Beadles
    RG- Daniel Kilgore
    RT- Anthony Davis, or Ternt Brown if he loses 20 lbs

      1. You may be right, but he was good enough to play in the SB, and Lynch may leave no stone unturned in his drive to find players.

        Maybe they could re sign him, then trade him for a draft pick to a team of his choice. Get something for him, instead of nothing.

    1. OK, for one, the 49ers are done with Anthony Davis. Fool me once, shame on you…. fool me twice, shame on me!

      Secondly, Joe Staley isn’t going anywhere. He’s a great fit for Shanahan, and he brings much needed experience and leadership to the OL.

      Thirdly, Daniel Kilgore is not going to be moved to Guard. Why would he? He’s the best Center on the roster when he’s healthy.

      If the 49ers are going to trade anyone, it’s likely going to be Garnett, IMO.

      1. I have a couple offensive linemen mocked to the 49ers in April, but, in light of what I consider a strong possibility that the 49ers could engineer a blockbuster trade during combine week, I have decided to hold off on my mock till after the combine.

      2. No, Beadles did a way better job at center. Kilgore tended to be hit or miss, and he whiffed way too many times.

        Niners should reward Staley for his praiseworthy service, by letting him go to a team with SB aspirations so he can get a ring. Denver really needs help on the O line, so they may jump at the chance to get Staley.

        Barrett is a backup to Von Miller, so he does have worth, and he may help the Niners with their run defense, while also being able to get pressure on the QB.

        Kilgore used to play guard, so that may be the best position for him. Then he will not be rolling the snap Back to Kaep anymore.

        Garnett was the Outland Trophy winner, so he does have talent. Too bad they were playing him out of position.

      1. Now that Baalke is gone. AD may come back strong. Lynch will treat AD like he could be a valued member of the team, instead of a piece of meat.

        1. Davis came back strong last year. The coaching staff moved him to guard so they could get their best 5 on the field and he quit on the team. For the second time.

          Your obsession with Baalke is as bad as your obsession with the Kaeptain.

          1. Still think they played players out of position, and Baalke’s moves were pure spite.

            Bet he was looking forward to cutting AD on the team bus.

          2. Do you remember Joe Staley being to interviewed after Davis quit last year?
            He laughed. I think that pretty much sums up what his teammates think of the guy.

      1. Just comparing me to MM gives me credibility, so you are hoisted upon your own petard.

        Have yet to see MM conjure up an original thought. He just likes to parrot the company line, and is the master of stating the obvious.

          1. Yup, MM and Barrows are company men, who shill for the FO. That is why I rarely visit their sites.

            That interview with Paraag made me want to throw up.

            1. Paraag is such a bad influence that the team just hired the hottest coach available and a GM that you think is an upgrade despite him having a large role in the process. LOL

        1. Well, just noting that someone is on the end of the bell curve doesn’t necessarily put them in the same league as someone on the other end of said curve…

  12. Hopefully Shanahan adjust to his personnel like Harbaugh when he took over. I remember when Harbaugh was hired all the talk was how he was gonna back the West coast offense back. Well he didn’t and continued with the power run game.

  13. Lynch made a point of praising the offensive line in his KNBR interview. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

    I heard ZBS required hip flexibility. Yes quickness, but also the lineman had to have a wide initial lateral step.

    T. Brown has (relatively) quick feet for a man his size. But does he have the flexibility to move laterally? If so, he might stick.

  14. In the draft, Garrett Bolles in the second or Erik Magnuson in the 4th may fit KS’s system.

    Dion Dawkins may fall to the 3rd round.

    1. No surprise he left. Mildly surprised he left before the draft. Hope he doesn’t spill the beans on 49er draft targets.

      1. Naw, the draft board is very tentative. Everything will change after the combine, then everything will change after Free Agency.

    1. Man, the Browns are unbelievable. They get a 3rd round pick, two 4th round picks and a fifth round pick. Meanwhile Seattle is getting TWO third round compensatory picks.

  15. MM works on being a reporter. He is not a columnist, and while I sometimes want him to point out the obvious, his role requires he stay middle ground. Keep in mind last year he would make no bones about speculating on Baalke’s demise. The Shill of all Shills is Teddy F’ng Football. He is a (sorry, have to say it) whore with a microphone. It’s despicable. I would not be surprised if Teddy F was part of the leak-to-national-writers protocol. Notice how Ted is very very quick to provide alternative facts in real-time to support leaking or soon to be leaked styff. Unfortunately, a guy I like to listen to, Tim Ryan, goes down this path to a degree (party line in public) too. I don’t care about Teddy, but Tim I lament this.

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