When 49ers center Alex Mack retired on June 3, a sizeable hole was left in the middle of San Francisco's offense. Quarterback Trey Lance is all but set to become the starter moving forward in his second year with the team, and a strong relationship between he and whoever starts at center will be necessary for the team to reach the heights they believe possible.
Arizona State fans know just the guy for the job.
Former Sun Devils center Dohnovan West, who went undrafted in April before signing with the 49ers, figures to be one of a few interior offensive linemen to compete for starting duties.
It's rare for a rookie, let alone one that went undrafted, to be thrust into starting duties from Day 1. And, to be fair, the 49ers could be confident enough in Jake Brendel (who has been working with the starters during the offseason program according to ESPN) and returning starter at guard Daniel Brunskill.
The Athletic recently did an early projection of the 49ers' 53-man roster for the upcoming season, with both David Lombardi and Matt Barrows designating West to the practice squad.
However, San Francisco did reportedly covet West during the early stages of Day 3 in the draft, but knew they would be able to get him as a priority free agent afterward.
Before he landed in the NFL, West spent three years at Arizona State. West finished the 2021 season as a second-team Pac-12 center, although he was unable to appear in Arizona State's bowl game due to hand surgery.
He was also named to the Rimington and Outland Trophy award watch lists while also earning preseason first-team All-Conference honors at center and PFF All-America honors prior to the season.
The path for West to immediately anchor San Francisco's offense in 2022 may be difficult, yet his opportunity to make the roster increased after Mack's retirement.
There's a lot to like about West as a prospect, which includes his high football IQ and versatility to play any of the three interior spots along the offensive line.
Time will tell what he's able to do at the next level, but there's no doubting West heads into 49ers training camp with a unique opportunity to showcase his talents across multiple positions against NFL talent.