The 49ers are at least getting their newly drafted players into the fold. 8 of the 12 draft picks, including 1st rounder Jimmie Ward, have signed. Which means in the least that there will be a lot of fighting for roster spots. Sure, most of the available spots are for 2nd-3rd string, or special teams, but still, competition makes the team grow stronger. Hopefully.
Granted, Jimmie Ward has a golden ticket to the slot/nickel CB spot, much like Eric Reid last year being handed the keys to the free safety position. One can hope the transition is as seamless for Jimmie as it was for Eric. Other than that, Bethea takes over for Whitner, Ellington takes over for the remarkably-still-on-the-team-but-not-for-long LMJ (who showed up for OTAs today), Marcus Martin joins the battle for the center position with Looney and Kilgore Trout, Brtandon Thomas looks to replace Mike Iupati, and Carlos Hyde becomes the possible heir-apparent to Frank Gore. Marcus Lattimore may have something to say about that, though.
The rest, and the UDFAs, are scrambling for precious few spots. We’ll likely revamp the taxi squad as well. Harbaugh (or someone) said that the team will more than likely only carry 2 QBs on the roster. Which makes the fight between Beth-el, Gabbert, and Josh Johnson a fight to the death. UDFA Kory QB Falkner will more than likely go to the PS.
The one position I really thought they’d look to upgrade is WR. Although Ellington is a speed-burner, his value for now is as a kick/punt returner. He’d come in to the WR battle as 5th on the depth chart behind Boldin, Crabs, Stevie Wonder, and Quinton Patton. Oh, yeah, and Brandon Lloyd. Although I think the fight for the #3 WR will rub out one of either Johnson or Lloyd. Maybe he can pass QP and be the deep threat we so desperately need.
Other than that, it’s backup LB, backup CB and backup DE spots being determined. Let the fun begin . . .