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49ers OTAs practice recap: Depth chart info galore

The 49ers wrapped up day two of OTAs, and the media was on hand. We’ve got a few details.

The San Francisco 49ers held their second day of OTAs on Tuesday, and it was the first in front of the media. The media had a chance to observe part of an earlier phase, but this marked the first time media has seen full offense vs. defense drills. There is no live contact, so a lot of positions are hard to full access. But, there are a few things to watch, and plenty to observe with the depth chart.

Defensive line

As expected, Arik Armstead was getting base work at the LEO, with DeForest Buckner next to him. Tank Carradine is getting the big end work while Solomon Thomas remains at Stanford finishing up his final exams. Carradine is entering the final year of his contract, and has struggled to find a clear role. The 49ers have quite a few options along the line, but a new coaching staff could bode well for Tank re-asserting himself.

Quarterback competition could show some life

No, not the first starting role. Brian Hoyer is just about locked in there, and by all accounts, had a very solid practice. However, Matt Barkley struggled on Tuesday. My guess is Barkley holds down the No. 2 job ahead of C.J. Beathard, but it won’t just be handed to Barkley.

Ahmad Brooks is off to a strong start

Kyle Shanahan offered praise for Ahmad Brooks, saying he has earned SAM first team snaps thus far. Plenty could change, but I suspect we see Brooks holding down the strong side role in his final season under contract. Whether he sticks around after this year remains to be seen, but he’s impressing so far. Malcolm Smith started on the weak side, and NaVorro Bowman started in the middle.

The running game will be diverse

The practice reports were high on Tim Hightower, Kapri Bibbs, and Kyle Juszczyk. It’s hard to say who will emerge once the pads go on, but right now, an extensive rotation could make a lot of sense. Kevin Jones said in his report said 50-60 receptions are not out of the question for Juszczyk.

Second Cornerback

The 49ers are overhauling the cornerback depth chart, and for the time being, Keith Reaser is the front-runner. Dontae Johnson got some first team snaps, but Reaser got the bulk of them. Ahkello Witherspoon spent his time exclusively on the second team.

Lorenzo Jerome has sticky hands

The 49ers got praise for signing Jerome as a UDFA, and he has made some big plays in practice. He had a pick in rookie minicamp, and another on Tuesday. It’s way too early to say what kind of opportunity he will pull down, but he is sticking on the radar.

Injury report

Center Jeremy Zuttah left practice early with a leg injury. Matt Barrows reported that he was on his feet the rest of practice and it did not seem serious. Zuttah was the starting center at the open of practice, but was replaced by Daniel Kilgore after the injury.


Chris Biderman
Kevin Jones
Matt Barrows
Grant Cohn