NFL Free Agency

49ers have few offensive needs with all starters set to return

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The 49ers’ entire starting offense from last year is under contract for the 2024 NFL season.

There are few if any spots that figure to even be challenged on an offense that returns so many Pro Bowl-caliber players. Aside from depth, the one spot on the 49ers’ offense that general manager John Lynch could look to improve is along the offensive line.

San Francisco had one of the best running games in the NFL, and Purdy was sacked just 24 times in his 16 regular-season starts. The 49ers’ offensive line graded out as No. 9 in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

Still, aside from a backup tight end, there aren’t too many other spots that need to be addressed along the 49ers’ offense.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ offensive depth chart after the first week of the free-agent signing period:


Starter: Brock Purdy

Depth: Josh Dobbs, Brandon Allen

Overview: Purdy will have the benefit of his first NFL offseason to work on his craft. A year ago, he spent these months in physical therapy to get his arm ready for the season following elbow surgery. He still managed to set team records, lead the NFL in passer rating and finish fourth in the NFL MVP voting.

Dobbs appears to be first in line for the backup job. He should have no problem picking up the 49ers’ playbook. After all, the dude is a rocket scientist. No, literally. He spent a month last offseason working in an internship at NASA as an aerospace engineer.

Allen signed a one-year contract and figures to get a chance to compete for the No. 2 job after serving as the No. 3 a year ago behind Purdy and Sam Darnold.

Running back

Starters: Christian McCaffrey, FB Kyle Juszczyk 

Depth: Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason

Overview: The top four are looking strong with McCaffrey and Juszczyk back in their starting roles. Juszczyk accepted a pay cut to remain with the 49ers for his eighth season.

The backups are strong with Mitchell and Mason. Perhaps, they will be sprinkled into the action more during the regular season to keep McCaffrey fresh throughout the season.

The 49ers will definitely add a couple of other running backs, most likely, late in the draft or as undrafted rookies to compete for spots on the roster or practice squad.

Tight end 

Starter: George Kittle

Depth: Brayden Willis, Cameron Latu, Jake Tonges

Overview: The 49ers have no proven depth behind Kittle, who is one of the best in the business. They should add at least one low-cost veteran and could address the position in the draft, too.

The 49ers thought so much of Latu a year ago that he was chosen in the third round. But he struggled in camp and spent the entire season on injured reserve due to a knee injury. Willis saw limited time as a rookie. He appeared in 10 games, including three in the postseason, and did not catch a pass.

Wide receiver

Starters: Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk

Depth: Jauan Jennings, Chris Conley, Ronnie Bell, Danny Gray, Tay Martin

Overview: The 49ers are very top-heavy at wide receiver with Samuel and Aiyuk, one of the better pairs of wide receivers in the NFL. The top priority for the offseason is to work something out with Aiyuk to get him under contract on a multi-year extension. Currently, he is under contract to play on the fifth-year option.

Jennings, a restricted free agent, figures to be back. The 49ers tendered him at a second-round left.

After Samuel, Aiyuk and Jennings, there is not much here.

Conley made a contribution as a fifth receiver and special-teams player. The 49ers would like to get something from Bell and Gray. They will likely try to increase the competition with the addition of a draft pick.

Offensive line

Starters: LT Trent Williams, LG Aaron Banks, C Jake Brendel, RG Jon Feliciano, RT Colton McKivitz

Depth: T Brandon Parker, T Jaylon Moore, G Spencer Burford, G Ben Bartch, G Nick Zakelj, G Corey Luciano, T Sebastian Gutierrez, T Isaac Alarcon

Overview: The 49ers return their top five from a unit that enabled the 49ers to rank No. 2 in the NFL in total offense. Improvements can be made, however, and the 49ers believe continuity and the continued growth through experience will make this group even better in 2024.

The 49ers could look to the draft to bring in a reinforcement or two for the right side of the offensive line. Whether the 49ers can get a lineman to challenge at right guard or right tackle remains to be seen. McKivitz finished last season strong and received a contract extension after shutting out Detroit star edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson in the NFC Championship game.

The re-signing of Feliciano appears to mean he’s in line to be the Day 1 starter at right guard. Burford opened as the starter last season and struggled before Feliciano took over that job.

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