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NN mailbag: Which 49ers rookie jersey should you buy?

Friday afternoon, I posted the first 2015 49ers mailbag, as we try and work our way through the quiet of the offseason. I will be posting mailbags every so often based on questions in the comments and tweets I receive. Some mailbags will feature a handful of questions, but other times I might pull a question out individually.

I got the above question earlier this week, and I thought it might make for an interesting stand-alone discussion. Even if you are not a jersey purchaser, the strategy behind purchasing a jersey allows us to delve into discussion about potential short- and long-term impact of the San Francisco 49ers rookies.

My initial response to the above question is this: Given how this offseason has gone, I would strongly recommend only purchasing jerseys of players who have retired. OK, let me clarify: players that have ALREADY retired.

But I know plenty of people love to pick up a rookie jersey. Immediate impact is helpful, but you also have to consider long-term impact. Bradley Pinion could very well have the most impact as a rookie, but other members of this year's rookie class will hopefully have a bigger impact over the course of their careers.

Normally I'd say wait through training camp, since we could even see a UDFA earn a roster spot. But in the meantime, if I had to pick one player, it would probably be Eli Harold. I think he has the best chance to make some plays as a rookie, while carving out a nice little career for himself. He will compete with Aaron Lynch and Corey Lemonier for pass rushing snaps alongside Aldon Smith. I still think Ahmad Brooks is starting in the base 3-4 when the season arrives, but I also think we see extensive rotation when the team goes into their nickel and dime defenses. Lynch will likely end up with more snaps, but I think Harold will get some work. And long-term, the 49ers face enough question marks with Brooks and Smith that his role could only increase in year two and beyond.

I generally stick with skill position players when it comes to jerseys, as I feel I am not big enough to justify defensive line or offensive line. My sleeper pick would be DeAndre Smelter. He is working back from an ACL injury, so there is that roll of the dice, but if he can work back to 100 percent, comparisons to Anquan Boldin are rather enticing. It might be worth waiting on the ACL, but you could also say, "I was there first!"

What are your rookie jerseys of choice at this point in the offseason?