49ers post-minicamp depth-chart prediction
Quarterback: Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard.
Analysis: Barkley and Beathard won’t play unless the 49ers tank the season.
Wide receiver: Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Jeremy Kerley, Aldrick Robinson, Trent Taylor.
Analysis: The Niners will keep five wide receivers instead of six because the offense needs an extra running back.
Tight end: Logan Paulsen, George Kittle, Cole Hikutini.
Analysis: The Niners will cut Vance McDonald and keep Hikutini to prevent someone from signing the undrafted rookie from their practice squad. Kittle will be the team’s second-leading receiver, but Paulsen will be the starter just like 2013 when he started over Jordan Reed during Kyle Shanahan’s final season as the Redskins offensive coordinator.
Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk.
Analysis: Juszczyk will be the starting fullback and the fourth tight end if the Niners need one.
Running back: Joe Williams, Tim Hightower, Kapri Bibbs, Matt Breida.
Analysis: The Niners will trade Carlos Hyde for a draft pick during the preseason.
Left Tackle: Joe Staley, Trent Brown.
Analysis: If Staley gets hurt, the Niners will move Brown from right tackle to left tackle.
Left guard: Zane Beadles, Joshua Garnett.
Analysis: Beadles will stay at left guard because that’s the position he has played for most of his career.
Center: Jeremy Zuttah, Daniel Kilgore, Tim Barnes.
Analysis: Kilgore is the only offensive lineman from last season who will lose his starting job.
Right guard: Joshua Garnett, Brandon Fusco, Tim Barnes.
Analysis: Garnett will move from right guard to left guard if Beadles gets hurt. Fusco and Barnes will be inactive for games.
Right tackle: Trent Brown, Garry Gilliam.
Analysis: Gilliam will make the team over John Theus, last year’s fifth-round pick.
Leo: Arik Armstead, Elvis Dumervil, Pita Taumoepenu.
Analysis: Armstead will play on first and second down. Dumervill will play on third down. And rookie sixth-round pick Taumoepenu will make the team over Aaron Lynch because the new regime is invested in Taumoepenu.
Defensive tackle: DeForest Buckner, Ronald Blair.
Analysis: Blair will make the team over Quinton Dial because Blair is a better fit in the 49ers’ new 4-3 defensive scheme.
Nose tackle: Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones.
Analysis: Jones will make the team over Dial for the same reason Taumoepenu will make it over Lynch.
Big defensive end: Solomon Thomas, Tank Caradine.
Analysis: Thomas will split time with Buckner and Armstead at defensive tackle on third down.
Strongside linebacker: Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold.
Analysis: Harold will make the team over Lynch because Harold can play linebacker in the Niners’ new 4-3 defensive scheme and Lynch can’t.
Middle linebacker: Rueben Foster, Brock Coyle.
Analysis: The Niners will cut NaVorro Bowman if Foster doesn’t re-injure his shoulder during the preseason.
Weakside linebacker: Malcolm Smith, Ray Ray Armstrong.
Analysis: The Niners didn’t spend all that money on Malcolm Smith to keep him on the bench.
Strong safety: Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt.
Analysis: Tartt can’t start until he learns to diagnose the difference between runs and passes, but he can replace Reid on third down as a man-to-man coverage specialist.
Free safety: Jimmie Ward, Don Jones.
Analysis: Jones will make the final roster because he excels on special teams.
Left cornerback: Rashard Robinson, Ahkello Witherspoon.
Analysis: Witherspoon will sit on the bench his entire rookie season.
Right cornerback: Keith Reaser, Dontae Johnson.
Analysis: The Niners will play Reaser against small receivers and Johnson against big receivers.
Nickel cornerback: K’Waun Williams, Will Redmond.
Analysis: Redmond will play a lot because Williams can’t stay healthy.
Punt returner: Trent Taylor, Jeremy Kerley.
Analysis: Taylor may become an effective slot receiver for the Niners one day, but they drafted him to return punts next season.
Kick returner: Matt Breida, Kapri Bibbs.
Analysis: The backup running backs will be the primary kick returners.
Kicker: Robbie Gould.
Punter: Bradley Pinion.
Long snapper: Kyle Nelson.
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