No. 4: 49ers offensive lineman Justin Skule
There are two specific things fourth-year offensive lineman Justin Skule needs to showcase in OTAs this offseason.
First, he needs to be 100-percent recovered from the torn ACL suffered last season. And while a full year of recovery is usually a good thing, the lingering effects could ultimately impact his chances of making the 53-man roster.
Second, the Niners invested heavily in their offensive line during and after the draft, adding day-three picks such as UTSA’s Spencer Burford and Fordham’s Nick Zakelj, while also grabbing Arizona State’s Dohnovan West and Mercer’s Jason Poe as undrafted free agents.
It’s feasible, perhaps even likely Skule beats out all four of those rookies for a spot on the depth chart. But with fellow returnees like Colton McKivitz and Jaylon Moore also in the mix, it’s understandable why the competition here is going to be fierce.
Granted, OTAs won’t afford players like Skule the opportunity to block with any strength, since there’s no contact allowed of that nature.
However, Skule will be under the microscope in all the other elements, particularly his footwork and agility, which weren’t his strengths prior to last year’s injury anyway.