The 49ers on Tuesday released an unofficial depth chart before the season opener versus Sunday’s Bears. Although the depth chart has not been compiled by the coaching staff, it’s still an interesting look at what we can expect to see in the first week’s starting lineups.
We can also from there see which of these players cemented in the starting points, and which of them could move on at the end as the season progresses.
One of the novices who jumps right away is free safety George Odom, who is there as an aide to Jimmy Ward who has a hamstring injury. He will miss at least the first four weeks, but we didn’t include Odum on our list because his play won’t dictate whether he starts. Ward will come back and start in the free safe even if Odum plays like an All-Pro during the first set of games.
There are a slew of other names that come up when it comes to players who might be substituted during the regular season.
a look. That would be a disastrous outcome for the 49ers, which is why head coach Kyle Shanahan will be as long as humanly possible from making any changes under the position. However, the door opened when Jimmy Garoppolo crossed it back into the 49ers facility. Ideally, Lance would start all 17 matches, and it would have to be an unmitigated disaster to rule on the bench. Sure, that wasn’t on the table when Nate Sudfeld and Brooke Purdy back it up, but now Garoppolo sits second on the depth chart. Please don’t yell at me on the internet.
The 49ers may roll their defensive ends so much that the “start” designation becomes relatively moot. Ebukam’s place in the starting lineup could be in jeopardy depending on the development of rookie DE Drake Jackson. If Jackson goes out for a hot start during Ebukam slow in blocks As it was last year, the 49 players could distinguish the rookie more during the middle part of the season at the expense of some Ebukam shots.
Okay, so he’s technically not a beginner. He is listed behind Deebo Samuel with Brandon Aiyuk as the starting wide receiver on the other side. Jennings’ numbers are No. 3 in three receiving sets even though the 49ers rolled with nearly half the time last year. His elite ban will give him some room to make mistakes as a passing pro, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that a Danny Gray or Ray McCloud prove to be a more explosive playmaker and cut into Jennings’ work. If Jennings can pick up where he left off last season though, his place should be safe.
Listed as a nickel starting angler, Womack had that job closed after the first week of pre-season when he faced two objections and then the 49ers cut off his main rival for the job. His starting point is not permanent although he has yet to play a regular season in the NFL. There is a world in which to struggle and 49 players have to mix some secondary to move a different player into the role of nickel. There’s also a great world where the 49 players have another pick for the fifth round. The 49ers would give juniors chances to play through fouls, but that leash won’t take long considering how bad their subordinates affected them going into a hole early last season.
All three players inside fit these criteria. Left goalkeeper Aaron Banks, midfielder Jake Brindle and right goalkeeper Spencer Burford will all be under the microscope this season after a choppy pre-season performance. Brendel has kept to himself for the most part, but is too important in the center to let him really struggle all year. Banks and Burford are also candidates to replace them, although they should have more space. Daniel Brunskill will be the favorite to take over at any of the three locations once he’s healthy, but recently purchased Blake Hance is also a candidate with some experience in multiple OL locations.