49ers: Daniel Brunskill named the team’s ‘most intriguing project’

49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

San Francisco 49ers’ offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill showed a lot of potential in 2019.

The San Francisco 49ers shocked the NFL world last season going from one of the worst teams in the league to one of the very best. They defied all preseason expectations and managed to make the Super Bowl after finishing just 4-12 the previous season.

And they couldn’t have done so without a number of surprising standouts.

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From players like Raheem Mostert to Arik Armstead to even Jimmie Ward, a whole host of 49ers players put together career years in 2019 despite entering the year with little to no expectations.

But on a team full of superstars and notable standouts, one player managed to surprise while also getting overlooked. That player is offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill.

Bleacher Report recently released a list detailing the “most intriguing project player” on each NFL team and Brusnkill earned the nomination for the 49ers.

Brunskill surprisingly made the final roster out of training camp but was seen as nothing more than a reserve lineman going into the season. But injuries to the likes of Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey forced the former undrafted free agent into action.

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And he made the most of every opportunity he was given.

49ers’ offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill impressed every time he was on the field in 2019.

By the end of the season, Brunskill had appeared in 14 games making seven starts all the while holding down the fort while the 49ers’ starting tackles were out.

Pro Football Focus gave him an excellent 73.0 grade which ranked him as the No. 26 offensive tackle in the entire NFL. Even more impressive was his 80.9 pass-blocking grade which ranked top-15 at his position.

Brunskill showed that he has what it takes to be an NFL starter and it’s his versatility that should give him that opportunity going into 2020.

The 49ers added Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams in the offseason to replace the retired Staley. But following the release of incumbent starting right guard Mike Person, the 49ers had a hole on the right side of the offensive line.

Some expected the team to address the position in the draft, but the only tangible addition the 49ers made was the signing of veteran backup Tom Compton.

Compton is expected to compete for the starting job, but he isn’t considered the favorite. That honor belongs to Brunskill.

A former member of the short-lived Alliance of American Football, Brunskill has managed to carve out a role with the 49ers due to his versatility to play all five positions on the offensive line. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that he played exceptionally well in 2019.

If Brunskill could prove that 2019 wasn’t a fluke and develop into a quality starter, it would be huge for a 49ers offensive line that doesn’t have the strongest interior.

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Look for Brunskill to do everything he can to earn the starting job this summer.