The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rating The Squads - The Offensive Line

Now we move to the other side of the ball and we start with the big guys up front. "The Road Graders".

  • Previously:
    The Special Teams Grade: B
    The Defensive Backs Grade: B-
    The Linebackers Grade: B+
    The Defensive Line Grade: C
Next Up: The Offensive Line

Grade: B

Despite missing 5 games early in the year with a knee injury, 2006 free agency pick up Larry Allen (right) was still dominant enough to be voted to a Pro-Bowl with only 11 games played. Allen teamed well with left tackle Jonas Jennings to pave the way for Frank Gore's running and improved protection for Alex Smith's blind side. Jennings is a complete tackle, who when healthy can be as effective as anyone at the position in the league. If he can't stay healthy, Jennings is figured to be replaced by 2007 first rounder Joe Staley (below,right) Staley will fight for a starting spot at right tackle this summer, but depending on injuries and/or effectiveness, could see time at the left corner, which is where he is grooming to be.

The other competitors on the right side are Adam Snyder and '03 first round disappointment Kwame Harris. Harris has the size, 6-7,315, to be a superb left tackle ,but seems to lack the aggressiveness and focus needed in the clutch. Too many 49er drives stalled because of ill-timed Harris holding and false start penalties. Snyder is calm and collected and proving to be a solid third round pick in 2005. He can play tackle or guard and will be hard to keep out of the line-up.

Joining Allen at the guard spots are Justin Smiley and David Baas. Consecutive second-round picks, both Smiley and Baas are tough and effective. While Smiley may be lost at year's end in free agency, Baas appears to be Allen's successor at left guard if he can harness his aggressiveness. Center Eric Heitmann (left)appears to have secured the job he was handed with the second of former center Jeremy Newberry's season ending injuries. Heitmann's calmness and signal calling made the 49er's decision to finally give up on Newberry a simple one. When Heitmann did miss a game at the end of the year, Tony Wragge, a project player from NFL Europe did a fine job filling in. Wragge was also solid in playing at guard when Allen missed time earlier in the year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While your prose is nice enough, when you offer unsubstantiated, and in this case wrong, information people will stop paying attention to you.

You wrote: "Too many 49er drives stalled because of ill-timed Harris holding and false start penalties." How many drives did Harris stop? You will be surprised at the answer to this question.


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