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49ers working out Bills’ starting tackle for last three seasons [report]



© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers have yet to make any moves on the waiver wire with their No. 2 priority, but that doesn’t mean the team is content with where its roster stands. One of the slight surprises of how the organization filled out its roster was its decision to cut veteran swing tackle Sam Young for the rookie Justin Skule after Shon Coleman suffered a season-ending leg injury. Skule, a sixth-round pick out of Vanderbilt, obviously has much greater upside, and while he did make some notable mistakes in the preseason, he flashed that upside plenty.

Skule and Daniel Brunskill, a 25-year-old listed as a tackle but who can play anywhere across the line and who last played in the AAF for the San Diego Fleet, are the only two tackles on the 53-man roster. Both are likely to be active for the 49ers’ Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers as the team only took eight offensive linemen (Ben Garland is the backup center with guard ability as well), and it’s unclear who’s favored as the immediate backup if one of Joe Staley or Mike McGlinchey should get injured.

Considering that, the team is still evaluating its options. The 49ers signed tackle Ryan Pope, an undrafted rookie who was cut from the Dallas Cowboys, to their practice squad, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the 49ers worked out one of the Buffalo Bills’ starting tackles last season, Jordan Mills.

Mills, a 28-year-old, 6’5″, 315-pound tackle, started in all 16 games for the Bills last season and each of the two previous seasons. Aside from 2015, when he played in 10 games and started five for the Bills, he started all 13 games he was active for with the Chicago Bears in 2014 and all 16 games in 2013. But just because he’s started doesn’t mean those have been quality starts.

According to Pro Football Focus, those three years with the Bills saw him post a pretty poor 59.7 PFF rating (scale is 0-100, below 60 is considered replaceable) with a 56.0 rating in 2018. In those three years he allowed the most pressures and posted the lowest PFF grade out of the team’s offensive linemen. He was a woeful run blocker last season, ranking 77th out of 85 qualifying tackles last season.