There’s been a shake-up on the 49ers’ starting offensive line.
When the offense lined up for team drills Tuesday morning, Anthony Davis was the right guard and first-round draft pick Joshua Garnett took snaps at left guard. Zane Beadles, who has been the starting left guard, began the session in that spot but was replaced by Garnett, the 28th overall pick, after a couple of snaps and the two split snaps.
Davis said he took nearly all of the snaps at right guard. He said he’s watching film of former teammate and fellow 2010 first-round pick Mike Iupati as he transitions from tackle to guard.
“I’m a big man (with) quick hands, and I can bend pretty well,” Davis said after practice. “It’ll take some time to get used to it. I watch a lot of Mike Iupati to figure it out. Mike will help me out. I’ll call him.”
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Teams typically dress seven offensive linemen for regular-season games. One of the reserves must be able to play tackle, the other guard and center. Beadles also has been practicing at center, suggesting he could fill one of those roles on game days.
Beadles and Andrew Tiller started the 49ers’ first two preseason games at guard. The team has allowed just two sacks this summer, none by the starting line.
Garnett, who has worked with the second-team offense so far in the preseason, said he didn’t do as well in pass protection Saturday against the Denver Broncos as he did against the Houston Texans a week earlier. He said he didn’t know if he’d play with the first team Friday against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium.
“The rotation is the rotation,” Garnett said. “I’d love to get worked in there and kind of go against (Green Bay’s) best. But whatever they want, whatever the coaches ask of me, that’s what I’ll do.”
Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins downplayed the shuffling before practice.
“We’re just trying to see what everybody can do,” he said of Beadles’ snaps at center. “In the course of a season, you never know what’s going to happen, who’s going to have to play what (position). The more they’re exposed to now, that’s what training camp’s about. We’re still in training camp.”
Beadles has played guard and right tackle during his six NFL seasons.
Davis has been a right tackle since entering the NFL. But he took a few snaps at right guard last week and said he was happy to move inside if it improves the offensive line.
A starting offensive line that includes Davis and Garnett would put three former first-round picks together. Left tackle Joe Staley was the 28th overall pick in 2007.
Et cetera – The 49ers signed former Stanford wide receiver Ryan Whalen to boost their dwindling receiving corps. Whalen, a sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011, was wearing No. 81, Anquan Boldin’s number the last three seasons. The 49ers have been without Eric Rogers (ACL), DeAndre Smelter (hamstring) and Bryce Treggs (knee) in recent practices.
▪ To make room for Whalen, the team cut Jared Bell, an undrafted safety from Colorado. Bell played 30 snaps in Saturday’s game and finished with a pass breakup and a special-teams tackle.
▪ Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who was punched in the left eye in a melee during joint practices with the Broncos and missed Saturday’s game, has been practicing this week.