49ers' roster moves guarantee at least one new offensive line starter


Although not as jaw-dropping as the change coming to the 49ers’ defensive lineup, the organization made a move on Thursday that guarantees a new starter on offense, too.

Right guard Mike Person started each of the 33 games, including the postseason, in which he appeared the past two seasons for the 49ers. He battled through physical issues to provide the club with a solid player on the interior of the team’s offensive line.

The 49ers released Person on the second day of free agency after agreeing to terms with journeyman offensive lineman Tom Compton on a one-year, $3 million contract, league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The acquisition of Compton in itself does not signal an obvious upgrade for the 49ers. Compton has just 34 NFL starts in eight NFL seasons. The 49ers will be his sixth team in six years.

The tradeoff also does not make the 49ers significantly younger, either. Compton (6-foot-6, 315 pounds) turns 31 in May, while Person (6-4, 305) turns 32 in June.

Compton is not a can't-miss starter. In fact, the move swings the door wide open for Daniel Brunskill (6-5, 300) to enter the starting lineup on a full-time basis. Brunskill emerged last season after spending 2018 on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad and the spring of 2019 in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football.

Brunskill stepped in last season to start at right tackle (four games), left tackle (one) and right guard (two). He started the final two games of the regular season in place of Person, who was battling a bothersome neck condition.

“I’ve joked around that Dan Brunskill is our MVP,” 49ers offensive line coach John Benton said during the week at the Super Bowl. “He’s started at three different positions and we really didn’t miss a beat.”

Brunskill played 475 snaps last season and, according to Pro Football Focus, allowed just two sacks, no quarterback hits and seven hurries.

Person allowed 35 total quarterbacks pressures in 1,146 regular-season snaps – one sack, five hits and 29 hurries. Compton, meanwhile, played 363 snaps with the New York Jets and allowed three sacks, one hit and 13 hurries. He went on injured reserve for the final game of the season with a calf injury.

The addition of Compton can be seen along the same lines as the re-signings of interior lineman Ben Garland and tackle Shon Coleman. It provides the 49ers with insurance on the offensive line.

There continue to be some lingering questions about left tackle Joe Staley’s future, though general manager John Lynch said recently he is confident Staley will return for at least another season.

The 49ers picked up a first-round draft pick from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

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The trade of Buckner, which coincided with the club's lucrative contract agreement with Arik Armstead, gives the 49ers some flexibility to address multiple positions in the draft.

The 49ers could trade back from either (or both) of their scheduled first-round picks at Nos. 13 and 31 to land starters – or soon-to-be starters – at wide receiver, cornerback or offensive line.

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