Why 49ers Should Move G Alex Boone To Right Tackle



Even to the untrained eye, it’s pretty obvious that the San Francisco 49ers have major issues on the right side of the offensive line. I guess it’s to be expected…after all, when you have a border line Pro Bowl right tackle abruptly retire in June it can put you in a bit of a bind. Still, it’s fair to ask if the team has really made the right decisions in their attempts to replace RT Anthony Davis, and if entrusting RT Erik Pears to take over will ultimately hurt the team.

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The truth is, the best choice to replace Davis would have been G Alex Boone, who is currently starting at left guard. I guess the logic is that you’re better off if you have Boone and LT Joe Staley protecting QB Colin Kaepernick‘s blind side, as they are the team’s two best lineman right now. But while that strengthens the left side, it leaves the right completely vulnerable.


Pears has not looked good at all so far in the preseason, and given his recent track record it’s unlikely he’ll turn it around anytime soon. Pears is a 10-year veteran who has started 70 games at tackle over his career. He spent last season as the Buffalo Bills starting right guard, and the switch inside ended up being a disaster as he finished 76th out of 78 qualifiers with a -25 rating (according to Pro Football Focus). He’s proven to be slighty better on the outside, but that’s not saying much. He was still below average at tackle in 2013, ranking 55th out of 76 qualifiers.

If the 49ers are reluctant to move Boone, their next best bet might be rookie T Trenton Brown. While he’s massive at 6-9 and 370 pounds, Brown was a seventh-round pick (No. 244) and has no business starting in the NFL right now. That could change, but he’s too green at the moment. In fact, if one of the starting tackles went down, the Niners would probably move Boone to the outside and let one of the young players take over his spot at left guard.



You could make the argument that moving Boone wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do since it would then leave the guard spot depleted, but I don’t necessarily think that would be the case. I believe San Francisco has enough talent there to get by, with the likes of G/C Marcus Martin, G/C Joe Looney, G Jordan Devey and G Brandon Thomas.

Obviously, the team would be down a choice (most likely Martin) as someone has to replace C Daniel Kilgore until he’s ready to return. I’d even be okay with Pears playing guard over tackle in the sense that he could hurt the team less on the inside. I guess, it’s the lesser of two evils.

There’s a chance that the entire o-line will pick things up during the regular season when Kaepernick will be allowed to audible and the 49ers won’t be trying to hide what they actually want to do offensively. I hope that’s the case, but as of right now I think they’re playing with fire by not at least exploring a move for Boone.

A SUNY Oswego Alum, Al has been covering the 49ers and the NFL for various sites since 2012. From guest podcasts to work being used by ESPN NFL Insiders and USA TODAY, Al brings a wealth of knowledge about the 49ers and the NFL as a whole, and is passionate about his work and the sport of football.