Biggest 49ers Position Battles to Watch
Training camp is all about competition, and the 49ers are fortunate enough to have a lot more competitiveness heading into this camp than previous years.
Whether it be in the secondary, along the defensive line or at running back, Niners fans should have no trouble honing in on position battles in 2017.
Rashard Robinson is likely the No. 1 cornerback heading into the regular season. That’s fine, but who winds up being No. 2.
Johnson has fallen out of favor a bit in recent years, but that could change with the new coaching regime.
In addition, the slot corner position will be worthy of note. San Francisco signed free-agent corner K’Waun Williams earlier this offseason, who figures to battle it out with second-year pro Will Redmond.
Despite a deep draft class, the 49ers didn’t land a pure pass-rusher until former Utah EDGE Pita Taumoepenu in Round 6.
Dumervil, 33 years old, is sitting on 99 career sacks and is an early favorite to be the premier piece here. Meanwhile, Lynch is dealing with weight concerns and Armstead is learning a new position.
Left tackle Joe Staley appears to be the only shoo-in starter for San Francisco this year. Every other position is, essentially, wide open.
At center, the Niners have a choice between the incumbent, Daniel Kilgore, a trade acquisition in Jeremy Zuttah or the free-agent pickup, Tim Barnes. Kilgore and Zuttah have experience at guard, creating more competition for returning 49ers Zane Beadles and Joshua Garnett, as well as free-agent addition, Brandon Fusco.
We mentioned how rookie tailbacks Joe Williams and Matt Breida may wind up pressuring perceived No. 1 runner, Carlos Hyde, early this season.
These five players are likely competing for three, perhaps four, spots on San Francisco’s 53-man roster.