The San Francisco 49ers braced the loss of Mike Iupati in free agency when they selected G Brandon Thomas with their compensatory draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Previously, Baalke has been known to take linemen for the long term rather than immediate fixing and impact. He drafted Daniel Kilgore in 2011, where he became the starting center for the 2014 season. Baalke also drafted Joe Looney and Marcus Martin for depth, but both will compete for a starting guard position with Thomas to fill the void Iupati has left.
The 49ers will not need to draft a starter or someone immediately in the early rounds, but middle to late round depth for 2016 and beyond can always be appreciated. With the stashing of Thomas last year, they could do it again and have a lineman inactive for the whole season and saving him for the future.
Donovan Smith (Penn State): 6-6, 338 pounds: Smith’s size would be a luxury for the 49ers offensive line and he would be a reserve. Initially a tackle out of college, he could be better suited as a guard at the NFL level. His strength is his best attribute among the positives. Smith was brought in for a visit in Santa Clara and is projected as a third round pick.
Mitch Morse (Missouri): 6-5, 305 pounds: Morse has a tough edge in the trenches, but lacks the same athleticism as other linemen do. He has a high intelligence through his technique, but doesn’t have the full strength of a prototypical guard. Morse is projected as a mid-round pick and could be a decent backup with the 49ers.
Mark Glowinski (West Virginia): 6-4, 307 pounds: Glowinski has experience at tackle and guard, which would attract Baalke for his versatility. He possesses a strong upper body strength and is physical sound. Glowinski is projected as a mid round pick.
Jamon Brown (Louisville): 6-4, 323 pounds: Brown is billed as both a guard and tackle which is another versatile lineman. He has a wide frame which could be handy in pass protection. The 49ers would like him as a possible swing tackle with his ability to play more than one position. Brown is projected as a mid-round selection.
Jeremiah Poutasi (Utah): 6-5, 335 pounds: Poutasi could be a long term pass protection project. The 49ers would enjoy his frame, adding size to the offensive line. They brought him in for an official visit and he is projected as a late round draft pick.
Corey Robinson (South Carolina): 6-7, 324 pounds: Like Smith, Robinson is a lineman who has a perfect size for a lineman, but is raw on the field. If the 49ers believe in their coaching abilities, he could be a project for 2017 or even 2018. Robinson is projected as a seventh round pick or he will go undrafted.