The San Francisco 49ers have very few question marks, but they aren’t perfect.
Three preseason games remain, and in those games, position battles will be sorted out and roster spots will be awarded. Some players have impressed so far, but others still need to make their case for starting or cracking the 53-man roster.
Which players and which position battles should you pay attention to?
The Secondary Battles
The 49ers have a star-studded team, but that adjective doesn’t apply to the secondary.
There are a plethora of vacant positions in the secondary, starting at free safety. Dashon Goldson’s departure opened up a gaping hole, one that the 49ers attempted to fill by drafting safety Eric Reid. Reid impressed with a solid six-tackle showing last Thursday against the Denver Broncos, and he should lock up one spot in the secondary.
However, if he underwhelms the team in the final three preseason games, C.J. Spillman or Craig Dahl could seize the starting free safety job. Spillman electrified Candlestick Park with some nice plays Thursday, and Dahl, who started on Thursday, is an obvious candidate as well.
If Dahl outplays Reid, he could start in Week 1. Reid has the edge due to his draft status and solid Thursday performance, but the battle is still worth watching.
While it is significant, it isn’t the most prominent position battle in the secondary. That honor belongs to the cornerback battle, one in which there are plenty of serviceable candidates. Tarell Brown will likely assume one of the starting cornerback spots, but the nickelback role (which Brown could step into at times) and the second and third cornerback jobs are all up for grabs.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Perrish Cox, Carlos Rogers, Eric Wright and Tramaine Brock could all fill those holes. Brock, Cox and Asomugha impressed against Denver, and Rogers and Wright are proven corners. Asomugha also has a glistening track record.
The 49ers don’t have much to worry about in terms of production, as they have two exciting, young corners and three experienced corners. However, they do have to worry about sorting out the position battle, which will go down to the wire.
Every cornerback has something to prove, and they only have three games to prove themselves.
In fact, almost every player in the secondary has something to prove, as only one position (strong safety, where Donte Whitner plays) is solidified. In other words, there will be lots of chaos in the secondary as the preseason wraps up.