49ers Add Veteran Newcomer Who Becomes Tallest at Position: Report


Getty The 49ers run out to the field on December 26, 2020.

Even after topping off the 53-man roster for the 2022 season on Tuesday, August 30, the San Francisco 49ers weren’t done with making more depth chart decisions.

So what they pulled the day after roster deadline day was this: Adding a former starter to bolster a needed position, but in the process becomes the tallest option at his spot on the offensive line.

And, his addition was made possible by this 49ers sacrifice: Waiving a former starter who originally made the initial 2022 roster.

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Who’s in, Who’s Out

The 49ers added to the interior offensive line — luring in past starting guard Blake Hance on Wednesday, August 31.

Hance comes in at a towering 6-foot-6, 310-pounds. With Hance manning guard, he’s officially taller than Aaron Banks, Daniel Brunskill and the other guards when looking at the roster online. Hance is also taller than former starter and Pro Bowler Laken Tomlinson.

But what has he been able to do inside with his offensive tackle-like frame?

Hance was a starter in eight games last season for the Cleveland Browns. Instead of guard, he was a swingman type of lineman for the Browns. Per Pro Football Focus, Hance lined up on 464 total plays at right tackle, then handled the blindside duties on 159 offensive snaps. Hance was also aligned as an additional blocking tight end for head coach Kevin Stefanski — playing at that spot for 21 plays including 18 in Week 14 versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Considering the depth at tackle especially with Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey expected to be at full strength for the September 11 opener against the Chicago Bears, Hance is likely to slide inside and help the 49ers’ interior.

But that decision to bolster the trenches came with this sacrifice: The 49ers waiving running back Trey Sermon via the league’s transaction wire.

The decision to waive Sermon comes off the heels of some telling remarks made by general manager John Lynch before the 49ers’ final preseason game at Houston on Thursday, August 25.

“He worked incredibly hard and had a tremendous offseason. Hasn’t showed up in the games, but throughout training camp has been one of our best players,” Lynch said to the Amazon Thursday Night Football crew.

Now, the 49ers have made their running back room “regular sized” per The Athletic’s David Lombardi.

“The 49ers are down to a more regular RB room size without Trey Sermon — 4 RBs plus FB Kyle Juszczyk. And they have 10 offensive linemen for the time being,” Lombardi tweeted.

However, just because the former third rounder and the first RB taken by the 49ers before leading rusher Elijah Mitchell was waived doesn’t mean he’s gone completely. There’s a chance Sermon could still rejoin the 49ers but in a different capacity.

“If Sermon clears waivers, good chance the 49ers re-sign him to their practice squad since he did make the initial 53,” Lombardi said.

Other Notable 49ers Find Homes

Two other roster surprises from the Bay Area were the 49ers waiving running back JaMycal Hasty and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields.

However, both have landed on their feet elsewhere. Ian Rapoport was first to report that Hasty got claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars at 12:32 p.m. Eastern.

Hasty will rejoin former 49ers edge rusher Arden Key with the Jags. Castro-Fields, who dropped to the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, will suit up for Bay Area native Ron Rivera and the Washington Commanders. The past Penn State star was one of two defensive backs the Commanders claimed per NBC Washington’s JP Finlay.

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