4. Eli Harold-Outside Linebacker
During this past offseason, Eli Harold, the 49ers third-round pick from the University of Virginia, had packed on 25 pounds of muscle in order to be more physical on the edge and at the point of attack. But Harold has not really brought the consistent pass rush during his time on the field this preseason.
In fact, Ahmad Brooks, Tank Carradine and little known undrafted free agent signee Marcus Rush have all shown more consistency in creating pressure on the opposing quarterback through these first three preseason games.
Harold seems to have a hard time shedding blocks or freeing himself by using moves and countermoves.
With Carradine creating pressure and disrupting the quarterback’s timing, and Rush having had four sacks in the last two games, Harold will have to do something miraculous in order to earn playing time before these two players.
And that is without taking into account Ahmad Brooks has looked pretty good in his limited time on the field as well. With the eventual return of Aaron Lynch from his four-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy, Harold will more than likely fall even further down the depth chart.
Prediction: Brooks starts on the outside, but Carradine will see significant time on the field as well. And I do believe Rush has earned a spot on the 53-man roster as well. As for Harold, he may be heading in the wrong direction, which is to say that his roster spot is getting shakier by the day.
Next: 3. Colin Kaepernick