49ers position-by-position breakdown: Offensive line

Matt Maiocco's 49ers Breakdown: Offensive Line

49ers position-by-position breakdown: Offensive line
July 19, 2013, 9:45 am
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The 49ers averaged 5.1 yards per rush last season and the O-line showed marked improvement in pass protection, too. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Editor's note: Insider Matt Maiocco will be providing position-by-position breakdowns each day leading up to 49ers training camp. The rookies are scheduled to report on July 19, with the veterans scheduled to follow on July 24. Today Matt focuses on the offensive line. 

Who they have: LT Joe Staley, LG Mike Iupati, C Jonathan Goodwin, RG Alex Boone, RT Anthony Davis, T/G Adam Snyder, G/C Daniel Kilgore, G/C Joe Looney, T Carter Bykowski, T Kenny Wiggins, G Al Netter, G Wayne Tribue, C Sherman Carter, T Luke Marquardt, G Patrick Omameh

Who they lost: Leonard Davis

Looking back: The 49ers kept eight offensive linemen on their 53-man roster -- and two on the practice squad -- for the duration of the season. The 49ers never had to dip into their depth, as the five starters remained healthy and started all 19 games through the Super Bowl. Together, the 49ers' line formed arguably the best unit in the NFL. After a difficult beginning against Green Bay's Clay Matthews, Staley turned in an outstanding season. Boone provided a big upgrade as he made the transition from tackle to right guard. Iupati continued to maul his opponents in the run game. Davis improved his consistency on a week-in, week-out basis as he had his best NFL season. Goodwin did a good job of keeping the unit on the same page. The 49ers averaged 5.1 yards per rushing attempt and the line showed marked improvement in pass protection, too.

Overall outlook: With another season of continuity, the 49ers' offensive line stands as one of the team's biggest strengths -- for this season and into the foreseeable future. Staley and Davis provide the 49ers with bookend tackles. Staley is signed through 2017, while the 49ers re-upped Davis with a $37.295 million extension through the 2019 season in the offseason. Iupati and Boone form the best tandem of guards the 49ers have had in a long time, too. Goodwin is a solid veteran who enters the final year of his contract. Snyder, who has experience at all five line positions, returns as a backup to the 49ers on a two-year deal that included a $500,000 signing bonus.

Camp competition: Goodwin accepted a pay cut to remain with the team. It's still conceivable promising young players Kilgore and Looney could challenge
 for a greater role and push Goodwin for his job. The role of the swing tackle is up for grabs. The 49ers could keep Boone in that role. If a starting tackle must be replaced, Boone could bump out to tackle with Snyder, Kilgore or Looney stepping into right guard. The competition in camp -- and the performance of the backups -- will determine whether draft pick Bykowski or any of the other young players can earn a ninth roster spot among the offensive linemen.

In-line images of Mike Iupati (left) and Anthony Davis (right) provided by the Associated Press