49ers training camp: 4 starting positions up for grabs

Players of the San Francisco 49ers stretch (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Players of the San Francisco 49ers stretch (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco 49ers
Aaron Banks #62 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The 49ers kick off training camp later this month, and these four starting positions remain up for grabs with some heated competition.

For the most part, the San Francisco 49ers have figured out which players will be starting for all 22 open first-team roles heading into 2021. The bulk of battles in training camp will be for the many depth and reserve roles, and last year’s injury attrition showed why those are equally as important.

That said, there are a few positions where the starters haven’t quite been determined, and those roles remain up for grabs.

In many cases, the Niners have their preference for which player would win a starting gig heading into the regular season. Yet head coach Kyle Shanahan won’t shy away from going with whoever performs best during camp and, to a certain extent, within the preseason.

Nevertheless, keep an eye on these four position battles, as they’ll be crucial in determining both the offensive and defensive starting lineups.

49ers Position No. 4: Right Guard

San Francisco used a second-round NFL Draft pick on Notre Dame offensive guard Aaron Banks, and the full intention is to make him a starter right away to maximize his value.

Banks won’t be handed the job at right guard, though, especially with the versatile veteran, Daniel Brunskill, in the mix.

Brunskill, who was tabbed to be the starter at right guard last year, eventually had to shift over to center in the wake of multiple injuries at the position, creating something of a vacuum at right guard.

With Alex Mack solidifying the center spot now, Brunskill and Banks appear to be the favorites to win this starting gig.

Fortunately, whoever loses the job won’t be pushed off the roster entirely, rather that person will be relegated to the ranks of the backups.

Ideally, Banks wins out and helps give the 49ers an immediate return on their draft investment.

Yet Brunskill will certainly have something to say about that.