New 49ers QB Brian Hoyer: 'I have a lot of confidence in myself'
Here's a rough depth chart composed by me, not the team, after the 49ers added 14 free agents over the last three weeks. Those free agents are highlighted in italics.
WR: Pierre Garçon, Aaron Burbridge, DeAndre Smelter, Eric Rogers*
LT: Joe Staley, John Theus
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Daniel Kilgore, Alex Balducci
RG: Joshua Garnett
RT: Trent Brown, Norman Price
TE: Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek
TE: Vance McDonald, Je'Ron Hamm
WR: Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, DeAndre Carter, Chris Harper
SWR: Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington, Rashad Ross
QB: Bryan Hoyer, Matt Barkley
FB/HB: Kyle Juszczyk, Blake Bell
RB: Carlos Hyde, Mike Davis, Raheem Mostert
LDE: Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair, Zach Moore
LDT: DeForest Buckner, Quinton Dial
RDT/NT: Earl Mitchell, Mike Purcell
RDE: Aaron Lynch, Tank Carradine
SLB: Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold
MLB: NaVorro Bowman, Brock Coyle, Carl Bradford, Shayne Skov
WLB: Malcolm Smith, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Wynton McManis
LCB: Tramaine Brock, Keith Reaser, Prince Charles Iworah
RCB: Rashard Robinson, Dontae Johnson
NCB: Will Redmond, K'Waun Williams, JaCorey Shepherd
SS: Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, Marcus Ball, Vinnie Sunseri
FS: Jimmie Ward, Don Jones
* It's hard to figure out where former first-round picks Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner will play. Their similar statures work well as bookends in a 3-4 lineup. The defense the 49ers will use this year calls for specific types. It's likely that one will be the three technique (lining get up between guard and tackle) in the base defense and the other will be the five-technique (lining up outside of the tackle). Michael Bennett, for example, plays the five technique for the Seahawks. If he is considered the prototype for this type of defense, then perhaps it's another player, Aaron Lynch, who is best for this spot. Of the 49ers' defenders, Lynch is most similar to Bennett. But a bigger player also can man this spot. Before Bennett arrived in Seattle, Red Bryant played five technique. And he was listed at "323" pounds (cough). Asked at the combine about the likely arrangement, general manager John Lynch said it’s something coaches will decide in the offseason.
* That right defensive end spot, dubbed the "Leo" by Pete Carroll, is where the team's best pass rusher lines up. Who's the 49ers' best pass rusher? It might be Lynch, it might be Ahmad Brooks or the Leo might be arriving in the draft. Maybe it's Tank Carradine whom the 49ers have miscast to this point in his career. This is a key position and a major mystery spot at the moment.
* Brooks is the best fit at the strong-side linebacker spot, which plays along the line of scrimmage and is similar to a 3-4 outside linebacker. This player has to be strong enough to set the edge on running plays and fleet enough to cover tight ends at times. If Brooks is in shape -- and to his credit, he was last year -- he's the team's most athletic/dynamic edge player.
* I don't know how Kyle Shanahan will divvy up his receivers, only that Garçon will play split end or X receiver.
* The 49ers have added 14 players (K Robbie Gould is not included above) in a short amount of time, but there still are obvious hole at: all of the offensive line spots; running back depth and, as mentioned above, both edge spots (right defensive end and backup strong-side linebacker).
* I put newcomers ahead of incumbents because most of the newcomers are familiar with the schemes the coaches will install and will have a head start when practices commence
* Rogers is coming off of an ACL injury.