Life without Joe Staley at left tackle always looked like a point in the 49ers' timeline that would come with some growing pains.
That’s because the 49ers worked hard to complete a trade with Washington for seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams before Staley went public on the final day of the NFL draft with his decision to retire after 13 NFL seasons.
Williams sat out last season, but big things are expected from the big man in an offense that places a premium on athletic linemen to perform coach Kyle Shanahan's steady diet of outside zone run plays.
“Trent is an unbelievable tackle,” 49ers running back Raheem Mostert said. “He’s probably one of the most athletic guys I’ve seen thus far on tape. I’m so excited and can’t wait to work with him.”
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For the first time since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2015, Mostert has established himself as a running back.
He led the 49ers’ run game with 772 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. Mostert rushed for a franchise-record 220 yards and four touchdowns in the 49ers’ victory over Green Bay In the NFC Championship Game.
Williams (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) played his first four NFL seasons in Shanahan’s offensive scheme. He joins a unit that ranked No. 2 in the NFL with 2,305 yards rushing during the regular season.
Mostert said he likes the composition of the 49ers’ offensive line, naming right tackle Mike McGlinchey, left guard Laken Tomlinson and center Weston Richburg as others who are fully capable of carrying out the demands of the offense. There figures to be competition at right guard with Daniel Brunskill, veteran Tom Compton and, perhaps, rookie Colton McKivitz.
“I can’t be any more happy and excited to get that ball rolling,” Mostert said.