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49ers depth chart vs. Vikings puts the “un” in unofficial

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We get an idea of things, but there will be differences come game day.

Week 1 is upon us!!! The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, and Tuesday brings us the first unofficial depth chart of the 2018 regular season.

The “49ers Football Communications staff” releases the depth chart before each game. It is unofficial because it does not include much if any direct input from the coaching staff. Most of the starters on the spreadsheets below make sense, but there are some question marks heading into Week 1.

The depth chart currently lists Mike Person as the starting right guard. It seems likely that remains the case this weekend, but I could see Garnett claiming the starting job within the next three or four weeks.

Matt Breida is listed as the starting running back, with Alfred Morris as the No. 2 running back. There has been some speculation that the starter each week might vary. We could see Morris handling first and second down work, and Breida coming on in passing downs. In reality, I think we see a healthy mix of both even in early downs. Neither is as good a pass catcher as Jerick McKinnon, but I think we see Breida end up improving in that role this year.

Speaking of Breida, the special teams depth chart lists him as the team’s starting kick returner. I would bet fairly sizable money that he is not the team’s kickoff returner when Sunday arrives. I could see D.J. Reed or Richie James, among others getting first crack at that role.

On the other side of the ball, Fred Warner, Malcolm Smith, and Mark Nzeocha are listed as the three starting linebackers. Smith is a question mark this week, and Wednesday’s injury report will give us a better handle on his status. If he is unavailable on Sunday, Brock Coyle would likely start in his place, with Elijah Lee serving as the primary backup. There is no backup SAM linebacker listed, but I would assume Dekoda Watson would be an emergency option there given his past work at the position.

This remains entirely unofficial, but in the meantime, here is what the depth chart looks like.

49ers offensive depth chart, Week 1

Position First Second Third
Position First Second Third
WR Pierre Garçon Dante Pettis Kendrick Bourne
LT Joe Staley Shon Coleman
LG Laken Tomlinson Matt Tobin
C Weston Richburg Erik Magnuson
RG Mike Person Joshua Garnett
RT Mike McGlinchey Garry Gilliam
TE Garrett Celek George Kittle Cole Wick
WR Marquise Goodwin Trent Taylor Richie James Jr.
RB Matt Breida Alfred Morris Raheem Mostert
FB Kyle Juszczyk
QB Jimmy Garoppolo C.J. Beathard

49ers defensive depth chart, Week 1

Position First Second Third
Position First Second Third
LDE Solomon Thomas Cassius Marsh Dekoda Watson
LDT Earl Mitchell D.J. Jones
RDT DeForest Buckner Sheldon Day
RDE Arik Armstead Ronald Blair III Jullian Taylor
SAM Mark Nzeocha
MIKE Fred Warner Brock Coyle
WILL Malcolm Smith Elijah Lee
LCB Richard Sherman Jimmie Ward
RCB Ahkello Witherspoon Greg Mabin Tarvarius Moore
NB K'Waun Williams
FS Adrian Colbert D.J. Reed
SS Jaquiski Tartt Antone Exum, Jr.

49ers special teams depth chart, Week 1

Position First Second Third
Position First Second Third
LDE Solomon Thomas Cassius Marsh Dekoda Watson
LDT Earl Mitchell D.J. Jones
RDT DeForest Buckner Sheldon Day
RDE Arik Armstead Ronald Blair III Jullian Taylor
SAM Mark Nzeocha
MIKE Fred Warner Brock Coyle
WILL Malcolm Smith Elijah Lee
LCB Richard Sherman Jimmie Ward
RCB Ahkello Witherspoon Greg Mabin Tarvarius Moore
NB K'Waun Williams
FS Adrian Colbert D.J. Reed
SS Jaquiski Tartt Antone Exum, Jr.