By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on June 3, 2014
The San Francisco 49ers have been a controversial club off the field, but on it, they're one of the NFL's deepest and most dominant teams. After the first batch of OTA workouts, here are five things we've learned about the 49ers thus far.
Third-round pick Marcus Martin has spent time at center and guard during OTAs. He was primarily a center at USC, but has some experience and potential at guard as well. The 49ers have several formidable options on their interior offensive line for 2014, but their future is cloudy between the tackles.
One possible reason why Martin is practicing at center and guard could be the uncertain futures of guards Alex Boone and Mike Iupati. Boone is currently holding out for a contract extension while Iupati is entering the final year of his deal. Both have helped plow the way for one of the league's most productive rushing attacks, but the 49ers probably don't have the resources to keep both.
The nasty knee injury NaVorro Bowman suffered earlier this year left a void at inside linebacker next to Patrick Willis. Michael Wilhoite has filled it thus far at practice. A competition could be looming between Wilhoite and third-round pick Chris Borland, though. No matter who wins, expect a rotation at the spot until Bowman is deemed healthy enough to return.
Off-the-field troubles and on-the-field injuries made cornerback Chris Culliver susceptible to losing his starting spot this offseason. There remains a possibility that he'll get suspended by the NFL for an offseason incident that most notably landed him felony and misdemeanor charges, but he continues to take his reps with the first team in the meantime.
In addition to the aforementioned contract issues along the interior offensive line, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and wide receiver Michael Crabtree are entering the final years of their respective deals. Needless to say, the 49ers have a lot to consider. Vernon Davis throwing his name into the pot, skipping OTAs for a new contract, further complicates the matter.
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