Lock: Kwon Alexander, Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner
Strong Bubble: Azeez Al-Shaair, Mark Nzeocha
Weak Bubble: Joey Alfieri, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Joe Walker
Long Shot: Jonas Griffith
San Francisco’s starting linebacker trio is easy to figure out.
The Niners will deploy Kwon Alexander, Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner again, hopefully fully healthy this season and thanks to Greenlaw’s notable ascent in 2019. While the tendency for defenses to feature more nickel packages will ultimately mean only two linebackers see the field most of the time, the interchangeability of the 49ers linebacking group now means a good deal of rotation is in order.
Questions begin with the backups.
The Niners surely like Mark Nzeocha’s special teams ability, which will be hard to unseat. And while he struggled, defensively, during his limited appearances in that role, second-year pro Azeez Al-Shaair would appear to have a leg up on some of his other competitors, particularly the newly signed veteran, Joe Walker.
Walker and second-year pro Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles could compete for a back-end spot on the roster, but it’s more likely San Francisco retains a nearly identical group compared to what was fielded a year ago.