49ers Training Camp position-by-position breakdown

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Safety Breakdown

While the 49ers are struggling at cornerback, they are very healthy at safety. With Antoine Bethea, the former Colt, starting at strong safety and Eric Reid, the talented youngster reigning over free safety, there is little debate as far as who will be starting for the 49ers. That being said, there is some interesting stuff happening behind these two, beginning with last year’s first round pick, Jimmie Ward.

Ward, going into his second season out of Northern Illinois, is expected to eventually make the transition to cornerback, as mentioned on the last slide. As it stands now, however, he still plays a lot of downs in a pass-happy NFL as a slot cornerback/third safety in dime and nickel packages. Though the 49ers could move him outside if Wright plays poorly enough, he is very good at what he is doing right now and it would take either someone stepping up beneath him or Wright being even more pathetic than he was for San Diego for that to happen.

Jaquiski Tartt may just be the man to make this occur. Keep your eyes on Tartt as he attempts to make a name for himself as a rookie in training camp and the preseason. It would take a lot for a rookie, but he has potential to overcome Cook and potentially even Wright at some point during the season if he plays well enough. This probably won’t happen in July or August, but maybe it will in October.

Craig Dahl, the former Ram, is also serviceable if need be, though nothing special, and will be able to spell Bethea or Ward periodically. L.J. McCray and Jermaine Whitehead, also a rookiewill be battling for roster spots and special teams playing time as well.

Next: Special Teams Breakdown