49ers depth chart: Predicting who makes the cut at linebacker

Kwon Alexander #56 and Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Kwon Alexander #56 and Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers defensive back Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (45) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

Key linebacker storylines to watch at 49ers training camp

Fred Warner extensions aside, the 49ers aren’t going to be too concerned with their starting tandem.

But that doesn’t mean the starting cast is as good as it can be.

Dre Greenlaw can bounce back

In 2019, Pro Football Focus awarded Dre Greenlaw with an impressive 64.0 overall grade, certainly aided by his 92 tackles and one interception. Yet his 2020 PFF number dropped to 59.8, and it wasn’t uncommon to see Greenlaw lose on proper pursuit angles.

It could be some second-year blues, but the Niners will certainly be wanting Greenlaw to emulate more of his rookie-year self in 2021.

Can Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles make an impact?

San Francisco seems to like Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles a modest bit. And after spending his rookie year on the practice squad, Flannigan-Fowles finally saw action in 2020 by getting into 11 games and even starting one of them.

Another one of those safety/linebacker hybrid types, Flannigan-Fowles is in contention for one of the few depth spots on the regular-season roster.

49ers getting something out of UDFAs

Both Elijah Sullivan and Justin Hilliard had extensive tenures in college, playing six years apiece and dealing with serious injuries there.

That might not bode well for full-time duties, yet both players managed to showcase some promise on special teams.

Sullivan, in particular, has some solid coverage skills despite being undersized at 6-foot-0 and 215 pounds. Hilliard, however, could potentially be the top grab from the 49ers’ UDFA class this year.

Neither one is assured a spot on the 53-man roster, but either player could potentially work his way through pre-Week 1 cuts.