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Battles to Look Forward To This Offseason

While a lot of attention will be paid to the quarterback position, let’s take a look at three other battles to look forward to throughout the remainder of the offseason.

Phase 3 of the 49ers offseason workout program is set to begin on Monday. While the entire roster was allowed to participate in Phase 2, the offense and defense were not able to work against each other. 

That will change when the team takes to the field on Monday. While a lot of attention will be paid to the quarterback position, let’s take a look at three other battles to look forward to throughout the remainder of the offseason.

1. Running Back

The 49ers typically carry five running backs on the active roster. One of those will be Kyle Juszcyk, which means one of the halfbacks -- Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr, Trey Sermon, Elijah Mitchell or JaMycal Hasty -- will be left on the outside looking in.

The running back room has undergone a bit of a shift this offseason, with the focus moving towards bigger backs. It will be interesting to see how this talented group sorts itself out over the coming months.

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2. Ambry Thomas & Deommodore Lenoir vs Brandon Aiyuk & Deebo Samuel

The 49ers used a third- and fifth-round draft pick on Thomas and Lenoir. One of the strengths for both of the rookies is their ability to play tight man-to-man coverage. Thomas and Lenoir faired well in coverage during the 49ers rookie mini camp but this will be their first true test.

Aiyuk has the potential to be a true No. 1 wide receiver, and Samuel is among the most physical wide receivers in the NFL. If the rookies are able to hold their own, it could bode well for the depth in the secondary.

3. Aaron Banks vs Arik Armstead

The 6’5”, 338-pound Banks was dominant during his time at Notre Dame. Banks rarely gets pushed back in pass protection and Armstead is very strong, especially when rushing inside. Watching these two go one on one will likely need to wait until the pads come on during training camp, but this is going to be a fun battle to watch.