49ers: Who should start at LG: Laken Tomlinson or Zane Beadles?
Last week we looked at a position on the San Francisco 49ers that required a change in personnel. After the dismal Week 1 performance against the Carolina Panthers. There was one position, in particular, that was so egregious, there was no choice but to make a switch.
In Week 1, LG Zane Beadles had just about as bad a showing that one man can have in a football game. Pro Football Focus graded his performance at 23.1, the worst grade of any guard who played that to open the season.
There were immediate questions as to whether or not recently acquired lineman, Laken Tomlinson, should get the start against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
Tomlinson had only been with the 49ers for two-weeks, was just learning head coach Kyle Shanahan's playbook. To make matters worse he had never before played in such a system.
Shanahan decided to make the change that everyone knew he would and inserted Tomlinson into the starting RG spot for the game up North.
Tomlinson did not disappoint. The former first-round pick allowed two-hurries against Seattle and received a grade of 50.1. While that grade is far from stellar, it's a significant upgrade over the human turnstile that was Beadles.
There is no doubt from anyone who follows the 49ers that Tomlinson should get the start once again, this Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams. As he continues to work with the first team in practice and learns the system, I fully expect his play to improve.
Beadles was former GM Trent Baalke's lone veteran free agent signing in the offseason of 2016. He signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, following four good years with the Denver Broncos. The Jaguars released him two-years into the deal as he failed to live up to the expectations that were set for him.
The main reason he was thrust into the starting lineup in Week 1 was due to circumstances out of the team's control. Most notably are the season-ending injury to OG Joshua Garnett and a trade for lineman Jeremy Zuttah that ended with his release a mere five months after coming to the team.
With Tomlinson coming into the fold and doing a good job with only a minute amount of time to learn the offense, he has given Shanahan another option. It's good option so it's no wonder the newly released depth chart for this Thursday's game confirms Tomlinson's spot in the starting lineup.
As long as he continues to absorb the system, leans on his veteran teammates, and shows improvement week over week, there should be no reason to see Beadles starting again.