The San Francisco 49ers are officially halfway through their 2017 preseason schedule, and have wrapped up their open training camp schedule. There is plenty of evaluation still to be done, but practice is now closed to the media.
Now that we have reached this point, it is time to take a look at where the bubble watch stands. We have not done a formal bubble watch look since late June. We took a look at the potential 53-man roster Monday morning, but for the rest of the week, we will be taking a look at the bubble watch for each position. Today, we move on to the offensive line.
Lock: Joe Staley, Trent Brown, Joshua Garnett, Daniel Kilgore
Strong Bubble: Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco, Garry Gilliam, Erik Magnuson, Tim Barnes, John Theus
Weak Bubble: None
Longshot: Norman Price, Andrew Lauderdale, JP Flynn, Darrell Williams, Andrew Gardner
Looking back at the June bubble watch, plenty has changed. The two most notable issues are the release of Jeremy Zuttah and Joshua Garnett’s knee injury. Veteran Tim Barnes and UDFA Erik Magnuson are the two players who likely benefited most, although Zane Beadles and/or Brandon Fusco gained in the guard competition.
I bumped Barnes and Magnuson up from weak bubble to strong bubble. Both have been getting extensive center and guard work, and on Wednesday, both were getting some first team snaps. Magnuson is the real surprise, progressively moving up the depth chart as training camp has moved along. He played tackle in college, which gives him that much more versatility.
The other notable changes to the bubble watch were to move Trent Brown, Daniel Kilgore, and Joshua Garnett up from strong bubble to lock. I had a big group of players at strong bubble heading into camp because it was hard to tell who would emerge with what role. The Zuttah release was not something I anticipated during the summer, but that helped offer some clarity. And while the 49ers brought in Garry Gilliam to compete for the right tackle role, Trent Brown rose to the occasion and appears to have secured the job for Week 1.