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NFL OTA Update: San Francisco 49ers Fighting For Roster Spots, Brandon Lloyd, Colin Kaepernick Ready to Fly

( [email protected] ) Jun 03, 2014 02:26 PM EDT
Competition for roster spots is beginning to heat up in San Francisco.
Colin Kaepernick leads players in a run during OTAs last week. SF Bay

The 49ers started their second week of non contact OTAs yesterday, and so far the talk has been about the absence of Vernon Davis, and the performance of Brandon Lloyd who sat out last season.

According to Niners Nation, Colin Kaepernick and Coach Jim Harbaugh were raving about the wide receiver's performance so far.

Now that all the frustrating rumors of a trade surrounding him have been put to rest, Harbaugh can give himself over to the next batch of headaches that are probably coming his way this offseason.  He is probably ecstatic that Lloyd, so far, is not going to be part of that.   

But, such is the life of an NFL coach who has managed to put a team together that is so deep that they arguably possess more quality than they have room for. As an example, Lloyd joins Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree on the 49ers' receiving core. Most teams would love to have a group like that.    

So this offseason, get ready for some serious competition as the niners compete for places on the final squad of 53.

For instance, watch the nose tackle position, where the competition is expected to be fierce.   Ian Williams was tapped to do the job last year, but ankle injury put him down in week 2.

Glenn Dorsey took the job in week three, and has performed very well in Williams' place. Dorsey tallied 41 tackles and two sacks, doing more than enough to justify retaining the starting role in 2014. Expect the two to battle it out for the starting role this year.

Another interesting battle is shaping up as the 49ers try and replace inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Bowman who was one of the best in the league last year, is slated to miss much of the season as he recovers from the devastating knee injury suffered in the NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Michael Wilhoite did a great job in two consecutive starts against the St. Louis Rams and the Houston Texans last season when Patrick Willis was out injured, but San Francisco used a third-round choice in this year's draft on Wisconsin's Chris Borland, who enters the NFL after being named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in his final season with the Badgers.

Borland, who only stands about  5'11" and weighs in at 248 pounds, seems the represent the type of player Harbaugh likes; the type who plays above his physical tools with a lot of heart and desire.  

So far the OTAs remain all about the depth and just moving along toward training camp. The absence of Davis will become serious if he doesn't make mandatory minicamp in two weeks. That's the first really significant marker for a potential holdout. Right now it's most about bringing new guys up to speed and starting to think football again.  

As the summer gets hotter, look for the seriousness of the competition within to the team to heat up too.