So far, guard Joshua Garnett has been doing everything he can to prove himself to the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff. The 2016 first-round draft pick spent last season on injured reserve after a knee injury during training camp led to minor surgery a month before Week 1.

Garnett could have returned last season, but the 49ers opted to have him use the year off to get into better shape. He reported to Phase 1 of the team's offseason about 20 pounds lighter than his listed weight.

"I've been very proud of how he handled his year off," head coach Kyle Shanahan said of Garnett in May. "Some guys, when they go through that, they can get down, especially the surprise it was for him when it happened. He really took advantage of his year off. I think he's changed his body. I think he's lost weight and added muscle. I think by doing that, you're faster, you're more athletic. I don't believe he's lost his power either because it's been the right type of weight."

Still, Garnett has a lot to prove. The 49ers value versatility, guys who can play multiple positions, on their roster and the offensive line is no exception. Few view Garnett as a player who can contribute at numerous spots along the offensive line. That's why winning a starting guard job is critical to his future with the team.

Two of the most prominent beat writers for the team, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area and Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, believe Garnett could be a leading candidate for a surprise roster cut following training camp.

Said Maiocco during the 49ers Insider Podcast:

"If Garnett does not win the starting job, he definitely has less position flexibility than Mike Person, who could serve as a backup at both of the guard positions as well as center. If Garnett does not nail down a starting job, I don't know if somebody else could sneak in there and be considered a more valuable backup. So that would be somebody to keep an eye on for a surprise cut. He's going to have to earn his way on this team once the 49ers put on pads late in July for training camp."

Wrote Barrows during a recent question and answer article:

"The most prominent player in danger of being cut? Guard Joshua Garnett. He's going to have to hold off two players the 49ers acquired as free agents, Mike Person and Jonathan Cooper. Person currently is the team's backup center, which seems to dramatically improve his roster chances."


Poll

  • Will Joshua Garnett win a roster spot?
  • Yes
  • No