No. 3: Right Tackle
Likely Candidates for the Position: Erik Pears, Trent Brown, Fahn Cooper and Anthony Davis
So retired right tackle Anthony Davis is no longer retired. And, judging by some of the press coverage, Davis looks to be in far better shape entering 2016. At least according to left tackle Joe Staley (h/t Ryan Sakamoto of NinerFans.com):
But Davis won’t be handed the job outright. He’ll have to earn it, which means he’ll try to surpass returning players Erik Pears and Trent Brown.
Pears worked first-team reps during OTAs and minicamp and, despite a lowly minus-30.7 overall grade last year, per Pro Football Focus, could still be in the discussion for a starting gig at the position.
And Brown can’t be ruled out either, although he had his own share of conditioning issues at the start of the 49ers’ offseason activities.
Rookie tackles Fahn Cooper and John Theus are also in the mix, although Cooper is probably the likelier of the two to make it past any roster cut before the regular season. He did adequately back up first-round draftee Laremy Tunsil during both players’ tenures at Ole Miss.
Considering how bad the right tackle position was for San Francisco a year ago, the team won’t be holding back on Davis starting unless it absolutely has to. He’ll be the guy in Week 1.
Predicted Winner: Anthony Davis
Next: No. 2: Wide Receiver