No. 2: Linebacker
Bowman is all but likely to wind up at the MIKE position, leaving Smith and Foster to compete at WILL.
Foster (shoulder) was medically cleared for practice just before training camp, and he capped off his first day of activities with an intercepted pass during 7-on-7 drills:
The Niners’ first-round draftee hasn’t been working much with the first-team unit. That job has primarily gone to Smith, who was a relatively lucrative free-agent pickup earlier this offseason.
Smith knows he’s got heat behind him, as Niners Wire’s Jerod Brown pointed out:
"Smith certainly got the hint. In a handful of linebacker drills, he seemed intent on making himself noticed. Each rep was at 100 percent while other players, including Bowman, worked through their turn slowly. Smith may be looking to show that he’s more than a depth piece and rotational player."
It will be interesting to see if, and how long, Foster can take over a starting job from Smith.