The 49ers are kicking off their 2020 training camp, and Niner Noise explores five bold predictions for what could happen between now and Week 1.
The San Francisco 49ers are already starting their 2020 training camp sessions, doing something a little different in light of the global pandemic that has shaken up the entire world.
So it’s been a bit more challenging to understand and follow the gradual ramp-up periods, then a lack of the preseason where the vast majority of fans can get an idea how the team is coming together in its campaign to get back to the Super Bowl.
And win it this time.
That said, some of the age-old stories of training camp are going to come to light. There are position battles, particularly within the deeper parts of the Niners roster. A number of fringe players are vying for a chance at the 53-man roster or, at the very least, the possibility of landing on a newly minted 16-man practice squad.
Predictions can be hard to come by, given the difficulties associated with the lack of actual media coverage at camp. But based on what we can speculate, Niner Noise looks at five bold predictions for what could happen with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad this camp.
49ers camp prediction No. 1: Dante Pettis earns a starting job
He’s been in the proverbial doghouse the past year. But third-year wide receiver Dante Pettis has about as good a shot as any to resurrect what was a disappointing 2019 campaign in which he eventually ended up being inactive for the Super Bowl.
Pettis’ fall from grace needs little backdrop. But his troubles last year started in camp.
Perhaps in training camp this year, the opposite happens.
Almost by default, Pettis will have a chance to recapture what the Niners saw in him when they selected him back in Round 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft. Fellow wide receivers Deebo Samuel (foot) and Richie James (wrist) are out with injuries, while rookie wideouts Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings are still needing to learn the intricacies of Shanahan’s complex offense.
As such, Pettis should see plenty of first-team reps during the opening days and weeks of camp.
If he capitalizes on them, he could be penciled in as a starter until Samuel returns fully healthy.