By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on June 24, 2014
After a somewhat tumultuous offseason, the San Francisco 49ers are only about a month away from the start of training camp. Here are five questions the club must answer this summer.
After trading for Stevie Johnson and drafting Bruce Ellington, the 49ers have more talent at wide receiver than they know what to do with. It should be a highly competitive summer along the corps, as Johnson, Ellington, Quinton Patton and Jonathan Baldwin will all compete for snaps and targets.
The 49ers still possess one of the league's most productive workhorse backs in Frank Gore, but they're well equipped to handle his eventual decline, with more than one potential breakout candidate at the position. Second-round pick Carlos Hyde, Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore will all fight to earn carries behind Gore this preseason.
The 49ers invested in Tank Carradine, an edge rusher with a superb blend of athleticism and strength, during the second round of the 2013 draft. Thanks to an ACL tear, though, Carradine redshirted during his first season in San Francisco. Now healthy, Carradine is ready to compete for snaps on a talented front seven. Earning a situational role on passing downs is a realistic aim for him in 2014.
Cornerback was arguably the 49ers' biggest need entering May's draft, but GM Trent Baalke didn't address the issue until Day 3. The projected starters, Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver, have played well in the past, but must prove they can do so for the duration of a 16-game season and any possible playoff run.
The gruesome knee injury inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffered during the NFC Championship is expected to sideline him for most of the season's first two months. Michael Wilhoite is the favorite to earn the temporary starting role next to Patrick Willis, but third-round pick Chris Borland and second-year pro Nick Moody are expected to push him.
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