NFL San Francisco 49ers

Predicting the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 1 Depth Chart

Predicting the San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 Depth Chart

49ers Tunnel 2
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The San Francisco 49ers enter the regular season opener with several potential changes to their depth chart. Alex Boone's return to the team and the possible suspension of Ray McDonald, both will factor heavily into the lineup the 49ers field at Dallas. Here's an early projection of the San Francisco depth chart heading into Week 1.

Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick
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Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick
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QB:
Colin Kaepernick (Starter)
Blaine Gabbert
Josh Johnson
Gabbert struggled in the preseason, but he'll likely get the first opportunity to see the field if Kaepernick exits.

Running Back

Frank Gore
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Running Back

Frank Gore
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RB:
Frank Gore (Starter)
Carlos Hyde
LaMichael James
FB:
Bruce Miller (Starter)
Hyde, a rookie, will be the first option to spell Gore, while Miller will play extensively as the 49ers' fullback.

Wide Receiver

Michael Crabtree
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Wide Receiver

Michael Crabtree
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WR:
Michael Crabtree (Starter)
Anquan Boldin (Starter)
Stevie Johnson
Quinton Patton
Bruce Ellington
Brandon Lloyd
The most improved unit of the team, the group includes four receivers who have surpassed 1,000 yards in a season.

Tight End

Vernon Davis
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Tight End

Vernon Davis
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TE:
Vernon Davis (Starter)
Vance McDonald
Derek Carrier
Davis is one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and McDonald could make big strides in his second year.

Offensive Line

Joe Staley
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Offensive Line

Joe Staley
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T:
Joe Staley (Starter)
Anthony Davis (Starter)
Jonathan Martin
G:
Mike Iupati (Starter)
Joe Looney (Starter)
Alex Boone
C:
Daniel Kilgore (Starter)
Expect Boone to be eased into the starting lineup after his lengthy holdout, while Kilgore will get all the snaps at center while Marcus Martin recovers from injury.

Defensive Line

Justin Smith
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Defensive Line

Justin Smith
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DT:
Ian Williams (Starter)
Quinton Dial
DE:
Justin Smith (Starter)
Tony Jerod-Eddie (Starter)
Tank Carradine
Demarcus Dobbs
It's hard to imagine Ray McDonald playing just a week after serious domestic violence allegations. Dial will fill in at tackle while Glenn Dorsey recovers from injury.

Linebacker

Patrick Willis
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Linebacker

Patrick Willis
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OLB:
Ahmad Brooks (Starter)
Dan Skuta (Starter)
Corey Lemonier
Aaron Lynch
ILB:
Patrick Willis (Starter)
Michael Wilhoite (Starter)
Chris Borland
Nick Moody
Skuta will likely start in place of the suspended Aldon Smith, although Lemonier will sub-in frequently on passing downs. Wilhoite fills in next to Willis until NaVorro Bowman returns to full health.

Defensive Back

Tramaine Brock
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Defensive Back

Tramaine Brock
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CB:
Tramaine Brock (Starter)
Chris Culliver (Starter)
Perrish Cox
Chris Cook
Dontae Johnson
S:
Antoine Bethea (Starter)
Eric Reid (Starter)
Jimmy Ward
Craig Dahl
Bethea should be cleared from his concussion by Sunday. Although listed as a safety, Ward, the 49ers' 2014 first-round pick will see time as the nickel back.

Special Teams

Lee Dawson
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Special Teams

Lee Dawson
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K:
Phil Dawson
P:
Andy Lee
LS:
Kyle Nelson
KR/PR:
LaMichael James
Bruce Ellington
Perrish Cox
Dawson and Lee are proven veterans, but a 49ers newcomer, Nelson, will be responsible for providing them with good snaps.