49ers roster: 5 best training camp battles to watch in 2021

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Daniel Brunskill, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill (60) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers aren’t going to be strangers to some serious training camp competition in 2021, and these five battles will be the ones to watch this summer.

The 2021 installment of San Francisco 49ers training camp is going to be a little more provocative than some of the others under head coach Kyle Shanahan, if for no other reason than the discussion about the team’s quarterbacking situation.

More on that in a moment, but there are plenty of reasons why camp is going to be a bit different this offseason.

Unlike last year, when the pandemic all but eliminated offseason workouts, the Niners will have both rookie minicamps and organized team activities under their belts in 2021, meaning there’s likely already an established pecking order for spots on the depth chart. The increased workload should also mean San Francisco’s cast of first-year rookies should be better prepared, too, as the lack of OTAs certainly hindered last year’s NFL Draft class a good deal.

Overall, though, training camp is about competition, and there’ll be no shortage of that in the weeks counting down towards Week 1.

Particularly these five must-watch camp battles.

49ers Training Camp Battle No. 5: Daniel Brunskill vs. Aaron Banks

The 49ers used their second-round draft pick on former Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks, and he figures to be the primary competition piece for starting right guard Daniel Brunskill.

Brunskill, who has served as the Niners’ uber-reserve player along the entire offensive line, got first-team reps at right guard during OTAs, yet San Francisco would love to see Banks take over that spot.

Banks is more of a power lineman, so it’ll be initially challenging for him to adjust to a more zone-style scheme. Yet his pass-protection skills would be welcomed along the interior of the O-line, and the 49ers may want to revert Brunskill back into being a versatile reserve player who can play multiple spots.

Brunskill might have the slight advantage as of now, but it’s a tenuous hold on a starting job.