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What is the 49ers biggest roster decision after quarterback?

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The 49ers have a host of roster decisions to make. Quarterback is a big one, but there are plenty of other important decisions.

The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of roster decisions to deal with this offseason, and obviously quarterback is pretty high up there. Most every 49ers offseason review by someone in the national media looks at the quarterback position before anything else. The latest is ESPN writer Field Yates. On Thursday, he broke down the biggest upcoming roster decision for each team. His 49ers discussion was not surprising:

A plan at quarterback: There may not be a team in the NFL whose long-term plan at quarterback is less certain at this point, but that can quickly change. New coach Chip Kelly will have a chance to tutor Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and sixth-rounder Jeff Driskel, but the team's best option at finding the right quarterback might be via a future draft. San Francisco's roster has a lot of work to do, and if 2016 is another struggle, the 49ers could find themselves near the top of the 2017 draft board with an opportunity to find a solution to the quarterback question.

We'll be discussing the quarterback position until the cows come home, so I thought we'd open the door for discussion about other big roster decisions. The 49ers have a host of decisions so we'll just look at which might be the biggest. Here are three in particular that raise all sorts of questions as we head through the offseason workout program.

Wide receiver

Who after Torrey Smith will get starter level snaps? We'll see a lot of work for a lot of wide receivers in the Chip Kelly offense, but who will emerge as the starters? Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, and Jerome Simpson have the most NFL experience, but Eric Rogers and DeAndre Smelter are two guys who could impress. Will the 49ers be willing to roll the dice to some extent on one of them? I suppose anybody outside of Smith is a roll of the dice given the amount of inexperience on the roster.

Right tackle

Erik Pears has been getting the first team work, while Trenton Brown has worked with the second team. The quarterback situation was a huge issue last year, and remains so this year, but a notable part of the problem last year was the lack of a consistently functional offensive line. The 49ers seem to have a plan for four of the five starting positions. Now it's a matter of figuring out right tackle.

Outside linebacker

I don't know if it's a "big decision", but this is about whether or not Eli Harold and/or Tank Carradine can emerge as a worthy starting option. I see Tank as more likely to be a situational pass rusher, but if the team wants to move on from Ahmad Brooks, they'll need at least two people to emerge as solid options. Whether it be Harold and Tank, or Marcus Rush or Jason Fanaika or anybody else, the 49ers need a couple options if they want to dump Brooks. I expect Brooks to make the roster, but we'll see if the younger options show something.

Backup running back

Given Carlos Hyde's bruising style, the second and third running back are fairly important for the 49ers. Mike Davis has the "draft pedigree", while Shaun Draughn and DuJuan Harris showed a lot more in limited opportunities last season. And of course, Kelvin Taylor has the Fred Taylor genes! There will be plenty of opportunities behind Hyde, and this will be a pretty important decision.