49ers 2017 pre-draft depth chart

49ers 2017 pre-draft depth chart

One of the goals of new 49ers general manager John Lynch was to fill every starting job – at least tentatively – with a player capable of being an NFL starter.

After adding 16 players with significant NFL experience in his first offseason, Lynch appears to have accomplished that goal heading into the draft at the end of the month.

“Would we want to improve on that at multiple positions? Yes,” Lynch said last week at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “Depth and competition brings out the best in everyone so you improve the depth at the back end of your roster for a lot of reasons, because you just want overall quality but also to bring out the best in everyone.

"We want to continue to push the envelope there and look at every avenue to improve as a team, and that’s how you do it.”

The 49ers believe they have a starter for every position, but in some case, they are not certain where all the pieces fit.

For instance, along the defensive line, Aaron Lynch is likely to play the pass-rush end spot and Earl Mitchell is best-suited at nose tackle. Many of the other players on the defensive line are versatile enough to play any of the other positions.

It appears Jimmie Ward will be moved back to free safety. But Ward may also handle the job at nickel back, covering the slot receiver, which would enable promising Jaquiski Tartt to get on the field with regularity.

On offense, veteran Jeremy Zuttah, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, can play either center or guard. So the 49ers will have to determine whether the line is better with Zuttah at center or with Daniel Kilgore at center and Zuttah at one of the guard positions.

The 49ers open their offseason program Monday, April 10, under coach Kyle Shanahan. Here is how their depth chart could appear before the draft (updated after the release of cornerback Tramaine Brock):

WR: Pierre Garçon, Aaron Burbridge, Eric Rogers, Rashad Ross, DeAndre Smelter
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Jeremy Zuttah, Daniel Kilgore, Alex Balducci
RG: Joshua Garnett, Norman Price
RT: Trent Brown, John Theus
TE: Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Logan Paulsen, Blake Bell, Je’Ron Hamm
WR: Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, Chris Harper
Slot WR: Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Carter
RB: Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, Raheem Mostert
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
QB: Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley

LDE: Arik Armstread, Ronald Blair, Zach Moore
NT: Earl Mitchell, Quinton Dial, Mike Purcell
DT: DeForest Buckner Chris Jones
RDE: Aaron Lynch, Tank Carradine
SLB: Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold
MLB: NaVorro Bowman, Carl Bradford, Wynton McManis, Shayne Skov
WLB: Malcolm Smith, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Brock Coyle, Dekoda Watson
LCB: Dontae Johnson, Will Redmond*
RCB: Rashard Robinson, Keith Reaser, Prince Charles Iworah
Nickel: K’Waun Williams, JaCorey Shepherd
FS: Jimmie Ward*, Don Jones, Vinnie Sunseri
SS: Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, Marcus Ball
*-Can also play nickel

P: Bradley Pinion, Brock Miller
K: Robbie Gould, Nick Rose
H: Bradley Pinion
PR: Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington
KOR: Jeremy Kerley, JaCorey Shepherd, Rashad Ross
LS: Kyle Nelson

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to being on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”