No. 5: Linebacker Corey Lemonier
The four-game suspension handed out by the NFL to outside linebacker Aaron Lynch was probably the best thing that could have happened for underperforming linebacker Corey Lemonier.
Lemonier enters 2016 on the roster bubble, and his chances of making the cut were previously strained by the 49ers’ move of former defensive end Tank Carradine to an edge-rushing role.
In total, Lemonier — a third-round pick of the 2013 NFL Draft — has just one sack and 10 tackles over three years at the pro level. His mere 275 snaps seen last year were a pretty good indication the 49ers were considering moving then-rookie Eli Harold over him on the depth chart.
Lynch’s absence changes all that. At least for now.
"Should he end up as the fifth outside linebacker on the depth chart, it would likely spell the end of Lemonier’s time with the 49ers. Undrafted free agents Marcus Rush, Lenny Jones and Jason Fanaika may also make cases for a roster spot."
Lemonier has a better chance at making the fourth outside linebacker spot on the depth chart in the wake of Lynch’s suspension — an element pointed out by Adam Caplan of ESPN:
Whatever happens when Lynch returns remains an unanswered question, but at least Lemonier has a little more time to prove he belongs.
And he’ll need to make the best use of that during camp.
Next: No. 4: Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong