NFL

Expectations for Niners' offensive line in 2015

Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley (74) runs onto the field before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley (74) runs onto the field before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

There figures to be a lot of roster turnover up front on the offensive line for the 49ers in 2015.

Mike Iuapti (now in Arizona), Anthony Davis (retired), Jonathan Martin (retired) are all gone. The lone player expected to be penciled into a starting role is Joe Staley. Alex Boone has been the starter at right guard the last three seasons, but could see a position switch.

Marcus Martin figures to see time somewhere, whether that be at center or guard. He was thrust into a bigger role during his rookie season after starting center Daniel Kilgore was lost midway through the season (leg).

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But there remains one intriguing piece to the puzzle.

That would be the 49ers rookie Brandon Thomas. Per CSN Bay Area: "The 49ers selected him in the third round of the 2014 draft with the full understanding that he would be unable to contribute as a rookie after sustaining a torn ACL in a pre-draft workout with the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers had Thomas rated as a second-round talent."

With so much turnover, plus with expectations to use more of a run-blocking scheme under first-year head coach Jim Tomsula, there could be some growing pains early.

The offensive line, Colin Kaepernick and expected starting running back Carlos Hyde will have to come together as a cohesive unit fast if the 49ers hope to make the playoffs in 2015.

(h/t CSN Bay Area)