No. 6: Defensive Lineman Ronald Blair
One of the last remaining roster holdovers from the Trent Baalke era, second-year pro defensive lineman Ronald Blair has spent the entirety of 2017 on injured reserve with a thumb injury.
But the 49ers have the option to activate two IR players after the mandatory waiting period, meaning Blair could return to action as early as Week 9, according to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (h/t David Fucillo of Niners Nation).
And Better Rivals’ Oscar Aparicio is one person enticed by the possibility of Blair’s return:
Blair flashed some promise towards the end of last season, eventually recording three sacks and finishing the year with 11 total tackles.
Like the 49ers offensive line, the defensive line has also gone through a sizable chunk of injuries. And with the rookie, Solomon Thomas (knee), out for the foreseeable future, Blair should get an increased look.
Heck, maybe one of Baalke’s late-round picks winds up working out.