The San Francisco 49ers start up their third week of OTAs on Monday, and they will continue sorting through the depth chart as we prepare for the final long slog before training camp. The team added cornerback Will Davis last week, and could still add some more talent over the next two weeks.
ESPN’s Field Yates took a look at business each team has to attend to do over the next couple months. He broke down the biggest upcoming roster decision for all 32 NFL teams. For the San Francisco 49ers, he picked the quarterback position. He had this to say:
What's the play at quarterback? The 49ers signed a pair of quarterbacks in free agency, with Brian Hoyer presumably set to start with Matt Barkley as his backup. Neither figures to be the long-term option, however, which will keep the questions coming about who the team eventually pegs to cement the QB spot. Draft capital and cap space shouldn't be an issue in future offseasons, equipping San Francisco to pursue any available free agents, trade targets or top quarterbacks in the draft. As I mentioned before the draft, the 49ers could be in play for Kirk Cousins in free agency in 2018.
The quarterback position is a long-term question mark, but I don’t see it as that big a question between now and training camp. Yates seems to recognize that, but in the context of decisions this summer, it’s not really much of one. The team has made it pretty clear Brian Hoyer is the strong front-runner. Matt Barkley could supplant him, or C.J. Beathard could surprise most everybody, but it does not seem to be the biggest or toughest decision facing the 49ers heading into training camp.
I think bigger short-term questions would be on the offensive line, along the defensive line, and the second cornerback spot opposite Rashard Robinson. The 49ers are still trying to sort through some of their starters, and they have options that could prove to be longer-term options, particularly along the defensive line.
And that could make the defensive line the biggest decision. The 49ers have invested heavily in the line, with three straight draft picks and some free agency bucks. The 49ers need to make sure they have the right players in the right place. The offensive line saw some veteran free agent additions that are not long-term options. At cornerback, Ahkello Witherspoon is the long-term guy (they hope), but in the short-term, Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson could end up as bridge options.