5 burning questions the 49ers are left with after minicamp

As the traditional dead period until the start of training camp dawns, here are some questions that will keep the 49ers busy in the meantime.
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Who replaces Dre Greenlaw, and how long for?

Another injury issue coming into training camp for the 49ers will be in the front seven.

Who will replace Dre Greenlaw as the second heartbeat of the linebacking corps next to Fred Warner, and how long will they have to do it for?

Conventional wisdom suggests that Greenlaw will likely miss a large chunk of the season, possibly starting the season on short-term injured reserve (meaning he would need a spot on the initial 53-man roster) or the PUP list (which would mean missing at least the first six games). Assuming that is indeed the case, the fight to replace him could be wide open.

Likely to gain first crack at the job is free-agent signing De'Vondre Campbell. A former All-Pro during his time with the rival Green Bay Packers, Campbell was recruited in March largely to provide veteran experience and a calm head in replacing the vital Greenlaw. He'll start in the ascendancy, and if he still has something to give on the field, he will have the inside track to the job.

Complicating matters, however, is the development of two young players behind him: 2023 draft picks Jalen Graham and Dee Winters.Winters was singled out for particular praise by Fred Warner after the recent OTAs, and his athletic talent, as well as his time learning under both Warner and Greenlaw, should stand him in good stead.

Graham is unlikely to merely sit back and let the veterans have the job either, although there would obviously be an experience gap if he or Winters was able to win the job, which would present an unknown going into the regular season.

However, the 49ers have often shown themselves to be unafraid to put rookies and young players into the lineup. The rise of Greenlaw himself, as well as players like Talanoa Hufanga, is proof enough of that. Ultimately, it will be "may the best man win, and competition can only be a good thing for the 49ers.

One would expect the team to want to sort it sooner rather than later, though.