Sakamoto: Why 49ers’ Should Target Bay Area Native, G Amini Silatolu Among Others


There is no question in my mind that the San Francisco 49ers most pressing needs on the offensive side of the ball is finding an elite offensive guard. Sure, the team has problems on the right side as RT Erik Pears has been downright awful but the return of RT Anthony Davis should be a good stop-gap for the time being.

So with right tackle shored up with the comeback of Davis, that turns my focus to the guard position. The team already has RG Andrew Tiller who currently ranks No. 4 of all guards in the NFL by Pro Football Focus (via last 6 weeks) so finding a complementary interior lineman should be a high priority for GM Trent Baalke especially with the expected departure of LG Alex Boone.

Unfortunately this year’s upcoming NFL draft class is slim pickings when it comes to solid NFL guards, so Baalke should turn his focus via free-agency. Let’s just hope he doesn’t settle for a caliber of a player like RG Jordan Devey.


So with that being said, I have identified three players who I believe would be a good fit in San Francisco as all three of them came out of the 2012 NFL Draft.

G Amini Silatolu (Carolina Panthers): The San Francisco native was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round (No. 40) of the 2012 NFL Draft and has been a key player along the team’s offensive line.

At 27, Silatolu is young enough to be groomed in any scheme while he continues to display the nasty mean-streak that made him a second-round pick. A 6-4, 311, Silatolu has the agility, speed, and strength to pull, get up field, and locate his blocks, as he hits the second-level. Ranked No. 30 of 82 guards by Pro Football Focus, Silatolu would be a nice addition as he comes back to his hometown state.

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G Jeff Allen (Kansas City Chiefs): At 6-4, 307, Allen would be a nice addition to the team’s offensive line. A second round pick (No. 44) of the 2012 NFL Draft, Allen has proven to be a solid piece since being inserted into the team’s starting lineup his rookie season.

A versatile lineman as Allen can play four positions (excluding center), you know that Baalke will be giving him a hard look as he covets versatility. At 25, Allen would be a nice piece the team could move forward with as they rebuild that line. Currently ranked No. 24 of 82 guards by PFF, Allen may be in the cards as he could provide to be a deadly duo alongside Tiller.

However, should those two re-sign with their current teams, they may turn to G Brandon Brooks (Houston Texans). At 6-5, 343, Brooks is a behemoth a man down inside the trenches who currently ranks No. 32 of 82 NFL guards with a positive pass-rush grade of +6.9 by PFF.

And for those who are wondering how these players stack up against Boone, here’s some food for thought as he ranks No. 31 of 82 guards with a +2.1 overall grade including a -5.4 run blocking grade. Ouch.

With the 49ers needing to upgrade the offensive line, don’t be surprised if Baalke targets one of these three players as they have all proven to be versatile, durable, and productive.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.