The 49ers used three picks last year (two firsts and a fourth) to acquire offensive linemen and then convinced themselves they had solved a major liability. As such, they refused to add veteran help to a porous offensive line, passing on veterans like Chester Pitts.
Both rookies had some success, showing glimpses of what led the 49ers to draft them so highly. But they both went through their fair share of growing pains adjusting to the NFL as well. Mike Iupati fared better than Anthony Davis, making the NFL All-Rookie team despite some struggles, while Davis ranged between promising and the reincarnation of 2003 draft blunder Kwame Harris.
Due partially to injury (the 49ers lost center Eric Heitmann in training camp), partially to an unstable system, but largely to the overinvestment and overconfidence in Iupati and Davis, the 49ers offensive line was only marginally better at best in 2010 than the line in 2009. Trying to insert another rookie into the fold is not the way to go.
The 49ers would be better served by adding some veteran help to afford some protection behind Iupati and Davis as they continue to develop. They still have a great chance to grow into the dynamic tandem the 49ers envisioned when they draft them, but that will not happen if they have to play around more inexperience in their formative years.
Spending two first-round picks on the offensive line last year was an overinvestment. Spending the only one the 49ers have on another lineman this year would be a major mistake. But they could do worse yet...