With less than a month to go before training camp kicks off for the San Francisco 49ers, veterans are getting back into the swing of things and youthful rookies and relentless journeymen are striving to earn a roster spot. Here is a look at the 49ers 2013 offensive depth chart.
Quarterback- Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien
Alex Smith had been a 49er since 2005. For the first time in eight years, the 49ers enter the season with a new franchise quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. We all know what Kaepernick can do in terms of running and passing the football.
The backup quarterback position is also very important, as evidenced by Alex Smith’s concussion and the mid-season quarterback controversy. There’s no doubt that Kaepernick is “the man”; however, Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien will battle for the backup job. McCoy has 21 NFL starts under his belt and is more experienced than Tolzien, who has been a practice squad quarterback for the 49ers for the last couple of years.
RB- Frank Gore, LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter, Bruce Miller
Frank Gore turned 30 years old this past offseason, and he is entering his ninth season in the NFL. Gore has played in all 32 regular season games the past two seasons, and he is seeking to reach the 10,000 career rushing yards mark this season.
His running mates in LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter are no fluke either. James looks to build on a limited but successful rookie campaign on offense and special teams. Hunter is returning from an Achilles tendon injury, but he is still only 24 years old.
Also, don’t forget fullback Bruce Miller, a great run blocker, who is entering his third year in the NFL and only his third year playing the position.
WR- Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Mario Manningham, A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, Quinton Patton
Anquan Boldin will help fill the void of Michael Crabtree, but before Crabtree’s injury, the possibility of a Boldin and Crabtree combo was just tantalizing.
Both Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham, who are returning from an ACL and Achilles injury, respectively, will have to step up in the absence of Crabtree.
Finally, Jenkins, Patton, and Lockette will compete for the fourth and fifth options as wideouts. I wouldn’t be surprised if all three young wideouts are on the 53-man roster; all three have the ability to play the slot position.
TE- Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald
While Delanie Walker was a huge locker room presence and connected with most of Kaepernick’s spirals, his departure should allow Vernon Davis to increase production. Davis has always been one of the most athletic tight ends in the NFL, and hopefully for the 49ers, Davis and Kaepernick develop more chemistry on the field leading to more touchdowns.
The 49ers also drafted TE Vance McDonald in the second round of the draft in April. In college, McDonald played more wide receiver than tight end and there will be a learning curve; nonetheless, McDonald has great size to play tight end.
O-Line- Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis
Finally, the 49ers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. There aren’t any training camp battles or jobs to be won or lost.
With that being said, barring any injuries, the 49ers brought back Adam Snyder for insurance, after a short stint with the Arizona Cardinals. I’m also interested to see who Harbaugh puts in to play the jumbo packages now that Issac Sopoaga and Leonard Davis are no longer with the team.
The 49ers offense is nearly identical to last year, with the exception of the addition of Anquan Boldin and the departure of Delanie Walker. Once again, there are too many position battles. However, the WR position should draw some interest.