San Francisco 49ers: 5 biggest holes on the team’s roster

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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San Francisco 49ers
GLENDALE, AZ – OCTOBER 28: Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt #29 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by wide receiver Chad Williams #10 of the Arizona Cardinals while returning an interception during the second quarter at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

5. Strong Safety

Competition: Jaquiski Tartt, Marcell Harris

The 49ers defense no longer has as clear a distinction between the free and strong safeties. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh made a number of scheme changes this offseason after back-to-back underwhelming performances from his unit.

The most notable change impacts the safeties, where they will look to decoy which safety is playing deep.

Marcell Harris played well last season at strong safety to close the season, but that was in the old system. While Jaquiski Tartt is no coverage demon, he remains the superior coverage option to Harris.

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Neither are particularly bad options to have, but the real concern is their unit might get depleted if the 49ers are unable to answer their questions at free safety (wait a slide).

Tartt has already seen time at free safety in training camp due to an injury to Jimmie Ward (shocking). The 49ers staff appears to be gaining more confidence in their younger options at free safety and that would be ideal.

Allowing Tartt to stick at strong safety with Harris as his insurance given Tartt’s own long injury history.

It shows how far this roster has come that this situation cracks the top five. In years past, we probably wouldn’t have even thought of a position that has two reasonably okay options to start.