There will be some very intruiging position battles to watch in the San Francisco 49ers’ training camp. Jim Harbaugh always looks to have competition at every position so this is something to be expected. Some players will have roster spots at stake. For others it will be a competition for playing time.
With that being said, which positions battles will be the most intriguing to watch?
The 49ers signed Nnamdi Asogmugha to a non guaranteed deal. He will come into camp to compete with Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver for the outside cornerback spot in the nickel package. Carlos Rogers is pretty much a lock because he is the best slot defender on the roster. Nnamdi is not a player that will play special teams so it will be imperative for him to show that he has value on defense. He could very well end up on the outside looking in when training camp is all over with.
Culliver is a young player that has a lot of upside. He will be a free agent in 2015, but expect the 49ers to sign him to a new deal. He is part of a young nucleus that the 49ers have built on defense. Brown is probably the most consistent corner on the team. He is in the last year of his contract, but like Culliver, he will be brought back as well. The 49ers would be smart to retain their two young corners along with Carlos Rogers.
Another position that will see a lot of competition is at wide receiver. The two sure shots at this position are Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. There is a bit of uncertainty after that. Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams both are strong options for the third receiver position but are each coming off of severe injuries.
A.J. Jenkins will have a lot to prove after having a less than stellar rookie season. He will need to show that he has learned the offense and is ready to make the step to an NFL receiver. Quinton Patton comes into camp already as a coach favorite. He is a hard worker and could definitely emerge as the number three receiver. Ricardo Lockette is the wild card. He is a burner that would stretch the field in a major way. Lockette is also very good friends with Colin Kaepernick.
Eric Reid was the first player picked by the 49ers in the 2013 NFL draft. He is expected to come in and earn the starting job at free safety. Craig Dahl was the free agent that the 49ers signed to ease the loss of Dashon Goldson. Dahl has started at safety before but all indications are that the 49ers want Reid to take hold of the safety spot.
Another area that stands out is backup quarterback spot, which Scott Tolzien and Colt McCoy will fight for. Trent Baalke really likes Tolzein, who can make all of the throws but doesn’t possess the ability to effectively scramble. McCoy is a more mobile quarterback that will allow the 49ers to work their read option package.
The 49ers have the roster that is ready to compete for a Super Bowl title, and training camp will offer a few position battles to watch out for.