No. 2: Safety
There are at least a few likable options for both the 49ers offensive line and cornerback depth heading into 2020, but that’s not the case at safety.
Particularly at free safety, where starting veteran Jimmie Ward will be a free agent this offseason.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have been enamored with Ward for some time now, and there’s always the possibility the Niners attempt to re-sign Ward for next season and perhaps beyond. Ward’s injury history could potentially lower the price tag, too.
Yet it’s just as possible Ward hits the open market, looking to cash in on what’s been a phenomenal 2019 campaign.
Ideally, San Francisco would be in position to push the younger defensive back, Tarvarius Moore, into Ward’s stead next season. Moore, a natural free safety in college, looked like he was a shoo-in to do this earlier in the preseason. But his coverage skills and reaction abilities weren’t anywhere close to being ready for deployment.
Another offseason could ultimately decide whether or not the 49ers can go that route. If it doesn’t appear to be an option, though, finding Ward’s replacement becomes a top priority.
Especially considering how vital free safety is for coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense.