Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Several battles at 49ers’ training camp will be worth watching

Jul 18, 2018 at 9:13 AM0



The 49ers are set to continue their off-season program when training camp begins on July 26th. Training camp in 2018 will look very different than last year, when the team had various roster spots up for grabs in an obvious rebuilding year.

The team needed players in 2017 so badly that it held an open audition for spots on the roster during the off-season. Since then, the 49ers have increased their overall talent and depth with a solid 2017 draft class and key free agent acquisitions over the last two years. Needless to say, it will not be necessary for an open audition, and the team should already have its focus on the 53-man roster.

With the competition increasing significantly at nearly every position on both sides of the ball, there will be several spots to key on during training camp. Below are the top battles to keep an eye on:

Offensive Guard


Laken Tomlinson returns as the lone remaining starter at guard for the 49ers, after signing a three-year extension in the offseason. His contract, worth up to $18 million, gives him the edge at retaining his starting left guard spot. Tomlinson had an up and down year in 2017, but his play improved significantly when Jimmy Garoppolo became the starting quarterback, per Pro Football Focus.


Brandon Fusco, last year's starter at right guard, signed a three-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons in the off-season. To counter the loss, the 49ers went out and signed free agents Jonathan Cooper and Mike Person, from the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts, respectively.

Cooper has yet to make an appearance during the off-season as he is recovering from off-season surgery on his MCL. He started a career-high 13 games for the Cowboys last season after struggling early on in his career. The 49ers made it clear that Cooper would be a top competitor for one of the guard spots by signing him to a one-year deal for nearly $5 million, with $2 million of that being paid up front as a signing bonus.

Cooper's main competition for the starting right guard spot will come from 2016 first-round pick, Joshua Garnett. Many have thought that Tomlinson's contract extension would put Garnett's roster spot in jeopardy, but that may be too early to tell. Garnett missed the entire 2017 season and used that time to get into better shape. He has lost nearly 25 pounds and looks like a completely different player. Garnett has been the starting right guard for most of the off-season, but the intrigue of the competition will not truly begin until training camp.

Person will join the competition at right guard and can be a serviceable backup center. He came into the league as a seventh-round pick, drafted by the 49ers in 2011, and has started games for both the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts.

Wide Receiver


The 49ers' top two wide receivers are pretty much set with Marquise Goodwin on one side and Pierre Garçon, who is returning from a season-ending injury, on the other. The remainder of the depth chart is where things could get interesting.

Slot receiver Trent Taylor returns from a successful rookie campaign during which he caught 43 passes for 430 yards. The 49ers, however, traded up in the second round of this year's draft to select wide receiver Dante Pettis, who is likely to receive significant playing time during his rookie year.

Pettis brings versatility and speed to the table, something that Taylor lacks. He is explosive as both a wide receiver and returner, which is why the 49ers were so excited to get him in the draft. If Pettis develops quickly, Taylor could see his snaps decreased to more of a third down role.

The outside wide receiver to watch aside from the top two should be Kendrick Bourne. Bourne has been seen training daily during the off-season, and he demonstrated at the end of last season that he has the skills to succeed in the NFL. Bourne may push Garçon for snaps on the outside, but he is unlikely to see a significant role in 2018. However, he will be a wide receiver to keep an eye on for the future.

Linebacker


Reuben Foster's two-game suspension has left the 49ers in a position where they need to figure out who will be the starter opposite Malcolm Smith to begin the season. The battle for that role will start with rookie Fred Warner and Brock Coyle, who signed a three-year extension in the off-season.

Warner quickly established himself as a contender for a starting spot during the off-season, and the coaches have complimented the rookie's ability to pick up the defense.

Coyle started 10 games for the 49ers last year and played admirably during that time. Coyle is limited athletically but he is tough and instinctive, and he played better in 2017 as the season went along. However, he had off-season shoulder surgery and was not able to participate in OTAs. He may be behind the curve in his bid to remain as a starter going into 2018.

This position group may be even more intriguing during the season after Foster returns from suspension. Does Warner supplant Smith as a starter? Will Foster regain his starting position immediately after his return? Who lines up at MIKE and WILL if so? A lot of questions with this position group overall that will be interesting to watch throughout the season.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



PFF names QB among three 49ers training camp battles to watch

By David Bonilla
Jul 21, 2021

It's almost too easy to name the quarterback competition among the upcoming San Francisco 49ers training camp battles to watch. With players set to report to the team's facilities in Santa Clara next week, a lot of eyes will be focused on observing the progress of the No. 3 overall pick — quarterback Trey Lance. Should it be among the most intriguing competitions, though? San Francisco's brass has repeatedly stated that Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be the starter come Week 1. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has a lot of confidence in his veteran quarterback. His availability, not his ability, has always been the concern. That doesn't mean the rookie won't try to prove himself a quick study and unseat Garoppolo. "I definitely see it as Jimmy's the



49ers announce 13 training camp practices, make tickets available to fans

By David Bonilla
Jul 23, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers made tickets to 13 training camp practices available to fans, including an August 7 practice at Levi's Stadium which has been declared "Dwight Clark Day." Below is the upcoming practice schedule. Players are scheduled to report to Santa Clara on Tuesday. Each practice is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT, which is subject to change. 2021 49ers Training Camp Schedule Wednesday, July 28 Thursday, July 29 Friday, July 30 Saturday, July 31 Monday, August 2 Tuesday, August 3 Wednesday, August 4 Friday, August 6 Saturday, August 7 (Dwight Clark Day) Sunday, August 8 Tuesday, August 10 Wednesday, August



'This is the best that I've felt physically': 49ers WR Mohamed Sanu ready for training camp competition

By David Bonilla
Jul 25, 2021

Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is entering his 10th NFL season and hopes to climb the San Francisco 49ers depth chart during training camp, which kicks off this week. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel figure to be the starters come Week 1. The spots behind them are up for grabs. Sanu's experience may give him an edge, though, when it comes to the No. 3 job. The veteran wideout is already familiar with the offense. He played for head coach Kyle Shanahan, then an offensive coordinator, for a season in Atlanta. That helps. Sanu was briefly with San Francisco last year, appearing in three games but hauling in only one catch for nine yards. He spent the remainder of the season with the Detroit Lions before rejoining the 49ers at the end of March. Sanu says he



49ers training camp practice schedule and media availability - Week 1

By Site Staff
22 hrs ago

Training camp is about to kick off and the San Francisco 49ers will hold four consecutive days of practice starting on Wednesday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will open the week by speaking to reporters on Tuesday, followed by select players. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel are also scheduled to speak during the week. The 49ers will make the press conferences available at 49ers.com, and on the team's official mobile app and YouTube page. Below


Featured

More by Chaz Inouye

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone