When the San Francisco 49ers went into 2018 training camp with question marks and several positional battles. Back in July I asked what you were looking to watch for when training camp began.
Well it seems like after a couple weeks, most of the battles haven’t concluded, but we have a good grasp of where everything stands. Well, except for right guard. Because no one knows how right guard is going to shake out.
ESPN recently put out what position battles to watch for all 32 teams and Nick Wagoner choose right guard for the 49ers:
The Niners have some sorting out to do on the interior of their offensive line. With the other four spots apparently settled, that leaves a battle between free-agent addition Jonathan Cooper and former first-round pick Joshua Garnett, who’s returning from injury. Cooper brings experience and athleticism while Garnett has worked hard to reshape his body and become a better fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Like Garnett, Cooper is also coming back from a knee ailment. To this point, that battle hasn’t fully materialized, as Cooper is still working his way back from the knee issue, and Garnett has missed a practice because of his own injury. Veteran Mike Person has gotten plenty of work at this spot, and his versatility gives him a chance to nail down a roster spot, if not the starting job. Erik Magnuson could also be a factor.
There really isn’t a position this wide open on the roster. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Laken Tomlinson will get the nod to start at left guard when the season begins, right guard has been up in the air and it’s still anyone’s job. Joshua Garnett seemed to have a legit shot and shows up on the 49ers depth chart as number 1, but the same knee he had surgery on in 2017 has another issue listing him as week to week. Jonathan Cooper is just now getting into the swing of things and (Kyle Shanahan’s playbook) and Mike Person is taking reps with the ones.
It’s probably safe to say that right guard has become the position to watch as no one has yet emerged with a grip secured on the position. Now that Cooper is doing drills, Person will have someone to compete with. When Garnett gets back (almost want to put that as an ‘if’ at this point) things get even more interesting.
Wide receiver seems to have shaken itself out and quarterback obviously didn’t have a question, but right guard is still the position to watch.