San Francisco 49ers

49ers training camp newcomers: Offensive line

Florida offensive lineman Trent Brown takes part in a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Feb. 20.
Florida offensive lineman Trent Brown takes part in a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Feb. 20. The Associated Press

From high-profile additions to NFL journeymen, The Bee provides a primer to the new players jockeying for position in training camp. Get to know the new faces at two position groups each day for both the 49ers and Raiders. Rosters are cut to 75 players Sept. 1 and 53 players Sept. 5.

Guard Mike Iupati has left the 49ers to bring his road-grading ability to the NFC West rival Cardinals. He helped the 49ers rush for 136 yards per game last season.

Regardless who mans the five offensive line spots, they’ll be playing for a first-year head coach – former defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.

Key returners: Alex Boone (G), Joe Staley (T)

Key departures: Mike Iupati (G), Anthony Davis (T), Jonathan Martin (T)

The newcomers

Trent Brown | G | 6-foot-8 | 355 pounds

Experience: Rookie (Florida)

Last year: He had six starts in 11 games for the Gators.

The skinny: According to NFL.com, Brown’s strengths include long arms and ‘meat hooks’ for hands, and despite his height and lack of flexibility, can still get under an opponents’ pads and move them off their spot..

Ben Gottschalk | C | 6-foot-5 | 293 pounds

Experience: One year (SMU)

Last year: Gottschalk signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs and spent time on their practice squad.

The skinny: Before the 2014 draft, Gottschalk was said to have “the skill and versatility to be an eighth offensive lineman in the NFL,” according to draftinsider.net.

Sean Hooey | T | 6-foot-9 | 304 pounds

Experience: Two years (Cincinnati)

Last year: Hooey spent a short time on the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad last season. He was released and then signed by the New York Jets in January, but later waived in June.

The skinny: Hooey was signed a week after Davis announced his retirement. Hooey was acquired off waivers from the Jets.

Patrick Miller | OL | 6-foot-7 | 289 pounds

Experience: Rookie (Auburn)

Last year: He was a part-time starter for Auburn, but decided to forgo his senior season to enter the NFL.

The skinny: He signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in May. According to NFL.com, his strengths are long arms and the speed to get into space to block for screens.

Erik Pears | G | 6-foot-8 | 316 pounds

Experience: Nine years (Colorado)

Last year: He started 16 games last season for the Buffalo Bills.

The skinny: He signed a two-year contract with the 49ers in March. He’s durable, starting every game the past two seasons.

Justin Renfrow | OL | 6-foot-6 | 310 pounds

Experience: One year (Miami)

Last year: He spent time on the practice squads of the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

The skinny: Renfrow played defensive line his senior year, following three years at Virginia.

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