The San Francisco 49ers will be faced with a decision to make at center. Jonathan Goodwin was brought in to be the final piece to a bully of an offensive line that they built primarily through the draft. Goodwin turned 35 last season and has publicly contemplated retirement. Either way, he will be a free agent. This is a chance for the 49ers to get younger and less expensive at a particular position.
Goodwin showed signs of deteriorating skill as he struggled with some interior pass rushers and there where times when it seemed like he could not stop the pass rush. Let’s take a look at three draft eligible players that could come in and be a contributor from day one.
1) Weston Richburg Colorado State 6-4 300 lbs
Richburg did wonders for himself at the Senior Bowl. He did a good job handling bull rushers and he did so by using his body to do so. This is an ultra durable player that started every game in the last four years which totals over 49 games. Richburg makes all of the line calls and keeps his head on a swivel to help teammates when uncovered.
2) Travis Swanson Arkansas 6-5 310 lbs
Swanson is a very good athlete, especially for his size. Because of this, he was used to pull on some running plays. Swanson is known more for his pass blocking. He also made some of the calls while at Arkansas. Versatility will be another area that is a plus for Swanson.
3) Bryan Stork Florida State 6-4 300
Stork closed out his career by winning the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center and he also earned First Team All-ACC honors by the league’s coaches as well as the media. He is a versatile offensive lineman that can bump outside to left tackle if needed. He’s able to use leverage to win his blocks and is athletic enough to handle defensive stunts and blitzes.
The 49ers have to figure out if they want to retain Jonathan Goodwin. At 35 years old, he is reaching a point in which his skills have started to deteriorate. His leadership is definitely something that would help the 49ers . While I think he has had a productive run with the 49ers, it’s time to move on.