49ers training camp preview: Offensive line

49ers training camp preview: Offensive line
July 20, 2014, 10:00 am



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Joe Staley has been named a Pro Bowler for three consecutive seasons since 2011. (AP)

Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco will be providing position-by-position breakdowns each day leading up to 49ers training camp. The full squad will report on July 23, with the first practice day scheduled for July 24. This morning, Matt focuses on the offensive line.

Who they have: Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin, Joe Looney, Jonathan Martin, Adam Snyder, Ryan Seymour, Carter Bykowski, Dillon Farrell, Fouimalo Fonoti, Al Netter, Brandon Thomas.

Who they lost: Jonathan Goodwin.

Looking back: The 49ers’ offensive line is regarded as one of the most-powerful units in the NFL. The tackles had a very good season. Staley is regarded as one of the top left tackles in the game, and Davis is likely among the top-10 right tackles.

The guards, Iupati and Boone, had very good seasons as run-blockers. But, according to Pro Football Focus’ player grading, both players were not as effective in pass protection.

Only 10 teams surrendered fewer sacks than the 49ers, but no team attempted fewer passes. The 49ers gave up 39 sacks with 417 pass attempts. In comparison, the Seahawks surrendered 44 sacks with 420 pass attempts.

The 49ers geared their offense around the run game. They averaged a strong 4.4-yards per rushing attempt, but at times struggled to create openings for Frank Gore when teams disrespected the passing game and stacked the box to stop the run.

Overall outlook: There is some uncertainty at two spots on the offensive line. Boone is unhappy with his contract, and there is “no way” he will report to camp without a new deal, a source told CSNBayArea.com. And the 49ers must also find a way to compensate for the loss of respected veteran Jonathan Goodwin. Otherwise, the team should be solid at the other spots with Staley, Davis and Iupati.

Camp competition: Kilgore will battle against rookie Marcus Martin, a third-round draft pick from USC, for the right to replace Goodwin.

And if Boone does not report to camp, there will be competition for the job at right guard, too. Looney took most of the first-team reps during the offseason program, but he’ll be pushed by some others on the roster. The loser of the Kilgore-Martin competition, Jonathan Martin and Adam Snyder will be considered for that job, too.

Jonathan Martin and Snyder are two veteran players who will battle to earn spots on the 49ers’ 53-man roster. Thomas, a third-round draft pick, will likely spend the entire season on the non-football injury list.