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49ers listed as best fit for one of ESPN’s top NFL free agents

The 49ers’ offensive line is one of the team’s glaring weaknesses heading into the 2024 season. While there are plenty of questions to answer about the future, San Francisco will still be in the midst of a Super Bowl window that needs to be maximized at least for the upcoming season.

One way they can maximize that window is by shoring up an offensive front that struggled to find continuity and quality on the right side. ESPN’s Matt Bowen went through the top 50 NFL free agents and assigned each as a best fit for a team this offseason. Dolphins guard Robert Hunt, ESPN’s No. 14 free agent, was the only player listed alongside the 49ers, but it’s the most sensible choice of any on the free agent market this season.

Via Bowen:

The 49ers can upgrade at the right guard position with Hunt, who in Miami showed he has the ability to win in pass protection and the skill set to block in multiple run schemes. That’s a fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which needs help on the offensive line; San Francisco was 20th in pass block win rate last season (55.6%)

The 2023 season was the second in a row where the 49ers have held a rotation at right guard. It was supposed to be 2022 fourth-round pick Spencer Burford’s job, but he’s struggled in two years to take a firm grip on one of the five starting OL spots. That doesn’t bode well for him heading into his third year, which gives the 49ers a couple options.

Perhaps they were happy enough with veteran Jon Feliciano to ink him to a deal and place him in the starting RG spot. That feels like the kind of band-aid that’s helped imperil their Super Bowl hopes the last few years.

Hunt would offer a more proven solution with productive years under Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, who runs a similar offense to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. He’s also spent a majority of his time at right guard, which should matter for San Francisco after so many non-interior OL have failed to make the move to RG.

The 49ers won’t have a ton of money to play with in free agency, but Hunt shouldn’t necessarily break the bank and he’d fill one of the most glaring weaknesses on their offense.

 

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire