This is arguably the strongest unit on this team. All five starters return as well as the top two backups on the interior. Snyder's return has been met with mixed feelings and the big question left to be sorted out is the swing tackle position. Even with that stability there may be a few surprises in this group.
Roster Spots: 8-9
Locks: Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney
Potential Cap Casualty: Jonathan Goodwin
Vets with something to prove: Adam Snyder, Al Netter, Kenny Wiggins
Young Guns: Carter Bykowski, Luke Marquardt, Wayne Tribute, Patrick Omameh, Sherman Carter
Outlook: The only starting spot that is jeopardy is Goodwin and that has less to do with performance and more to do with money and planning for the future. Goodwin is the oldest member of the unit by several years and his salary is also the highest. Kilgore and Looney have both been getting reps at Center and one of them may be poised to take over. The signing of Snyder might signal this move. He adds a veteran presence with experience at all five positions if an emergency should arise. Another guy I think has the potential to make some serious noise is Al Netter. He was highly regarded coming out of college, but there were some injury questions that appear to be answered after a season on the practice squad. He might be the answer at swing tackle. The other young guns are most likely battling for a spot on the practice squad. Marquardt has HUGE potential, Bykowski seems to be more polished, and Omameh has the intangibles and experience at a high level. The biggest question left is how many players to keep. If Goodwin stays I think the team goes with 8. Kilgore, Looney and Snyder would offer versatility for all spots on the line. For those of you that are worried about Snyder being the swing tackle, remember Books would slide over if Staley or Davis were to get hurt and Kilgore or Looney would go to RG. If Goodwin gets cut, it might make more sense to keep 9, if enough players step up. Even if that happens, I still see the team going with 8 to save a roster spot for WR or RB.