49ers training camp: 6 burning questions

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

This year’s training camp is something of a turning point for the 49ers. They’re transitioning to a new quarterback and they’re establishing some new starters on both sides of the ball.

The 49ers report July 26, and their first practice is the following day. With an important month coming up for San Francisco, we put our heads together and came up with six of the questions we’re looking to have answered in camp.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but they’re the ones we find either important or interesting and worth keeping an eye on throughout camp and the preseason.

How does Trey Lance look?

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

There may not be anything that matters more than the answer to this question for San Francisco. Lance had just a small sample of work last year, but 2022 was always the goal date for his debut though. Training camp will be our first chance to see if and how much he improved over the offseason. At that point the prognostication can really begin.

We won’t really know how good he’s going to be though until we see him in games. Camp will give us an opportunity to see how his throwing motion looks, whether his accuracy and touch have improved, and what kind of rapport he has with his receivers. – Kyle Madson

Who has the edge at strong safety?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Ward will have a new starting safety partner following Jaquiski Tartt’s departure, and it’s pivotal the 49ers land on the right replacement at strong safety.

While Tartt was criticized for his dropped interception in the NFC Championship Game, his flexibility and his understanding with former high school teammate Ward formed a critical part of the defensive equation in recent years.

Talanoa Hufanga and Tarvarius Moore are thought to be the most likely successors to Tartt with George Odum an outsider to win the job. How the starter reps are dished out in camp will provide an insight into who the 49ers think is the best candidate. – Nicholas McGee

Can the interior OL hold up?

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The 49ers need to figure this out because it ties directly to Lance’s success. Life would be a lot easier for a first-time starting QB if the interior offensive line plays well. The problem is San Francisco’s trio of interior line jobs are wide open.

Favorites for the jobs are Aaron Banks at left guard, Jake Brendel at center and Daniel Brunskill at right guard. The group behind those three doesn’t offer a ton of promise with the likes of second-year OL Jaylon Moore, draft picks Nick Zakelj and Spencer Burford, and journeyman Keaton Sutherland. Colton McKivitz could be in the mix as well, along with undrafted OLs Jason Poe and Dohnovan West. Ideally for the 49ers the three favorites will play well and they won’t have to worry about finding replacements. If they do have to dig into their reserves, it could be a long year. – Kyle Madson

What’s the plan at nickel?

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

For so long the 49ers were able to lean on K’Waun Williams to produce reliable performances from the slot corner position. That will not be the case in 2022 following his departure to Denver.

Given the spread out nature of modern NFL offenses and increasing number of No. 1 receivers playing significant snaps inside, the 49ers must have a plan they believe in at nickel.

Will the take an approach in which they simply move Charvarius Ward or Emmanuel Moseley inside on nickel downs? Or will one of Darqueze Dennard, Samuel Womack or Deommodore Lenoir get the chance to play significant snaps in 2022? The answer will have a massive bearing on San Francisco’s success on defense. – Nicholas McGee

What’s RB Tyrion Davis-Price’s role?

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The 49ers took Davis-Price in the third round of this year’s draft, marking the second consecutive year they took a running back on Day 2. Last year Trey Sermon wound up having virtually zero role on offense. This year Davis-Price could land in the same boat, but he might also be good enough to earn a sizable role in the backfield.

It appears the 49ers could at least have a good short-yardage back in Davis-Price. However, he has good top-end speed and a surprising bit of wiggle for a player with his size. There’s a strong chance he winds up splitting time with Elijah Mitchell as the go-to back in one of the NFL’s top rushing offenses. – Kyle Madson

 

Can Javon Kinlaw put it all together?

 

A potential jenga piece for the 49ers’ defense, San Francisco would benefit hugely from this being the year Kinlaw stays healthy and realizes his obvious potential.

Looking to bounce back after a 2021 ruined by a lingering knee injury, Kinlaw’s versatility in being able to soak up double teams against the run and penetrate against the pass could be invaluable following the exit of nose tackle D.J. Jones in free agency.

After a prolonged recovery period, the 49ers need Kinlaw on practice field on a regular basis to dispel any injury doubts and to produce flashes to suggest he can shed the ‘draft bust’ tag and deliver in an important dual role in Year 3. – Nicholas McGee

1

1