The San Francisco 49ers welcome rookies and quarterbacks to training camp on Monday, July 27 and veterans on Friday, July 31. They then kick things off in earnest when they hold their first practice on Saturday, August 1. The team's first preseason game is not until August 15, but in the meantime, some semblance of football is almost back in our lives!
Thus far we have looked at the depth chart bubble watch, and salary cap questions about each position. I wanted to close out the offseason by figuring out the questions left to answer for each position as we head into training camp. We won't get all the answers we seek in training camp and the preseason, but we will get a much better handle on what this team looks like heading into the 2015 season.
The idea behind this is just to figure out what we are going to be looking for in training camp reports and preseason games. When final roster cuts are made, we will look back at these questions, and ahead to questions for the regular season.
The 49ers offensive line will feature the most significant turnover it has seen in some time. Mike Iupati departed in free agency and Anthony Davis retired, leaving two spots to fill in the starting lineup. By the end of the offseason workout program, Alex Boone was playing left guard, Erik Pears was playing right tackle, Joe Looney was playing center and Marcus Martin was playing right guard.
The 49ers did not have a healthy Daniel Kilgore during the program, as he is continuing to rehab his lower leg injury. He would likely be the starting center, but even that is a bit undetermined at this point. If Boone is going to stick at left guard, it is up in the air who will handle the combination of center and right guard work. If Kilgore is healthy, we could see him and Martin. If Kilgore's rehab carries further into training camp, we could see Looney and Martin, or potentially Martin at center and Brandon Thomas at right guard.
There are a lot of questions to be sorted out, and so, here are some of the questions I see for the offensive line heading into camp:
1. How soon is Daniel Kilgore on the practice field?
2. What will the offensive line depth chart look like the first week of camp? The first game of the preseason?
3. Will Boone get work at multiple positions, or is left guard the plan?
4. Will Andrew Tiller get some opportunities after getting some first team work in the offseason workout program?
5. What kind of opportunities will Trent Brown and Ian Silberman get in their first training camp?
6. Where does Dillon Farrell fit in after making the team as a UDFA, and then getting some emergency center work?
Feel free to throw out any of your own questions for the group. We won't address every one of these position group questions every single week, but I do plan on checking back on these as August moves along. Again, this is not about what questions face the group in the regular season. Rather, it is about what we can learn from the six weeks of training camp and preseason games.