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Where has Eli Harold been for the 49ers?

Harold has had plenty of playing time but hasn’t made any impact plays for the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers spent a third-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on Eli Harold, an outside linebacker with a high ceiling who would hopefully pair with Aaron Lynch in getting after the quarterback. That dynamic changed slightly when they switched to a 4-3 defense, but Harold remained in the rotation and has actually played quite a bit this season.

Harold has played in 10 games, starting six of them, but has just 16 solo tackles (24 combined) and a sack. He has no interceptions or passes deflected. He’s barely creeping up on his 2016 totals despite plenty of playing time, and I’ve rarely seen him actually be a force in getting after quarterbacks this season.

He’s taken part in 349 defensive snaps, or 47.29 percent of them, in addition to 160 special teams snaps — 55.17 percent there, as well. Only NaVorro Bowman and Ray-Ray Armstrong are linebackers who have played more than him on defense, with Brock Coyle just 23 snaps behind him.

Coyle has been much more productive, with 21 solo tackles (32 combined) and half a sack. Coyle has been playing quite well in recent weeks and may be punching his ticket to a roster spot net season, while Harold seems to simply be lagging behind. Impact plays for Harold have been virtually non-existent.

So is this the end for Harold? Looking at the group of linebackers going into the offseason, it’s certainly not a hugely impressive bunch. There could still be room for Harold. Reuben Foster and Malcolm Smith are the only locks as far as I’m concerned, but Coyle has played well enough to stick around. Where does that leave Harold?