The San Francisco 49ers are turning over a huge chunk of their roster, an expected result of bringing in a new front office and coaching staff. On offense, we can expect to see new starters at quarterback, wide receiver, some portion of the offensive line, and fullback. On defense, we’ll see some changes on the line, at one of the linebacker spots, at cornerback, and at safety.
Amidst all the changes, there are some obvious names, but then there are some players we each think might claim a starting spot that would surprise others. Who would be one of those guys that could claim a starting spot, but would be a surprise to others not talking about him?
I don’t know if he qualifies as a surprise, but Keith Reaser claiming one of the two starting cornerback spots could be on that list. Ahkello Witherspoon is the guy the 49ers will want starting long-term, but I could see Reaser initially starting opposite Rashard Robinson. People point to Dontae Johnson given his size and length. Reaser moved past him on the depth chart with the previous two coaching staffs, so we’ll see if it continues under the new coaching staff.
On the offensive side of the ball, the offensive line is where things could potentially get interesting. I would like to think Joshua Garnett will claim a starting role, but Brandon Fusco got some first team snaps while they worked Garnett at second team left guard for one set of offensive line snaps.
Trent Taylor is going to be an interesting one to watch at wide receiver. The 49ers spent a fifth round pick on him, but all he does is catch footballs. I don’t think he is starting Week 1, but I would not be surprised if he worked his way into the starting lineup sooner rather than later. The 49ers signed a host of wide receivers this offseason, but none is a sure thing to claim any kind of long-term role.
Some will mention tight end, but given the attempts to trade Vance McDonald, it’s hard to be surprised by much at that position. What do you think?