The 49ers won 13 games last year in the regular season, but still had one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Alex Smith was sacked more times than any single quarterback last year. This offseason, they lost starter Adam Snyder at right guard and have yet to find a true replacement for him. Snyder played poorly last season, so he probably won’t be missed, but the 49ers still have a hugely unsettled situation at right guard.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh shed some light on the situation this week by calling Alex Boone the favorite. Boone faces competition from 4th round pick rookie Joe Looney, who is currently out with a foot injury, and 2011 5th round pick Daniel Kilgore. Boone is a massive offensive lineman (6-7 328) who went undrafted in 2009, largely for off the field problems. Those seem to be behind him and the 49ers believe strongly both privately and publicly in his potential.
There was also some talk, according to CSN Bay Area, earlier this offseason that Boone could potentially stay at his natural position of right tackle. This would move Anthony Davis, who has allowed 21 sacks in 2 seasons since being selected 11th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, to right guard in an attempt to salvage his career. So far those have just been rumors and theories, but if Davis continues to struggle and Boone wins the right guard job and plays well there, we could see them switch spots midseason. Meanwhile, Looney and Kilgore will be backups and depth. Kilgore can also play center and may be the 49ers’ 2nd string center heading into the season.