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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers vs. Raiders: Players to watch in the preseason matchup

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 13, 2023 at 11:45 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers are finally playing on Sundays, as their first preseason action is against the Las Vegas Raiders at 1:00 PM this afternoon, following the joint practices that occurred between the two teams on Thursday and Friday.

With Brock Purdy and a plethora of starters expected to rest, quarterbacks Trey Lance and Sam Darnold will split the reps, with the former seeing the first half, and the latter receiving a majority of the second half.

However, the quarterbacks aren't the only ones in the spotlight, as there are several players to keep an eye out for at a number of positions on the roster.

Who are the "players to watch in the 49ers' bout against the Raiders?

Prior to the game, The Athletic's Matt Barrows released a list of players, along with their jersey numbers, to keep in mind as the 49ers set out to play the Raiders, pointing out rookies, some veterans, and rising candidates on the roster.

With a majority of starters expected to sit, the 49ers' rookies, who are primarily on the second and third-string, will get their first extended look of play, with pass-catchers Ronnie Bell, Brayden Willis, and Cameron Latu all looking to get an edge on their respective position battles.

Similarly, on the defensive end, rookie linebackers Dee Winters and Jalen Graham are trying to make a splash in a loaded position group that involves Marcelino McCrary-Ball, who seems like a likely roster candidate following a strong offseason.

The defensive line is always an area to keep an eye out for, with Barrows pointing out the likes of Austin Bryant and Taco Charlton, who have looked like some of the best edge rushers on the team in camp, as well as Javon Kinlaw. who looks much fresher in an offseason where the defensive tackle didn't have to deal with injury concerns.

A name that has gained traction throughout training camp? Undrafted free agent D'Shawn Jamison, who has gone from an unknown commodity to a strong option for depth at cornerback, as well as a top choice for the open kick/punt returner role, with Ray-Ray McCloud expected to miss two months of action.

Elsewhere, the offensive line will earn some focus, as the depth of the group will be under scrunity, especially at tackle, where former undrafted free agent Leroy Watson is a name to watch in an underwhelming battle at swing tackle.

Additionally, the interior offensive line holds several names of intrigue, with Jon Feliciano, Nick Zakelj, and Jason Poe all having arguments for a roster spot, although there may not be space for all three options.

Nonetheless, all of these names will be on display as the 49ers suit up to play the Raiders on Sunday afternoon, fresh off a series of joint practices.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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