The 49ers take on the Raiders tonight for their second preseason game. Last week the offensive line got embarrassed and tonight they will look to redeem themselves. Here are a couple of position battles to watch tonight during the game.
Alex Smith vs Colin Kaepernick: Alex currently has the inside track for the QB position, but if he struggles again and Colin starts to show his ability, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Colin getting more first team reps in practice.
Aldon Smith vs Parys Haralson: The 49ers spent a first rounder on Smith and he will get every opportunity to take the starting spot from Haralson. Ahmad Brooks will get the start at one of the OLB spots, which leaves a battle between Smith/Haralson. Reports from practices have shown that Haralson is struggling with lesser opponents on the line while Smith is holding his own against the same. In the end I see Aldon claiming that spot with Haralson coming off the bench in certain pass rushing situations.
Anthony Davis vs Alex Boone: Boone is the first tackle off the bench and he will continue to push both Staley and Davis for playing time. However both starting tackles have the edge. Anthony Davis is still young and I feel the team will give him every chance to start. Boone will get lots of playing time to showcase his skills and if he continues to hold his own and Davis struggles, don’t be surprised to see Boone starting at right tackle.
Chilo Rachel vs Everyone: Chilo Rachel is getting praise in camp from Harbaugh and Co. But not sure how warranted that praise is. It seems like every game Rachel gets blown up at the line, the coaches obviously see something in him, but again he is in the same boat as Davis. If he doesn’t improve and start to dominate he may lose his starting spot to the likes of Adam Snyder, Daniel Kilgore and possibly Anthony Davis if he loses his starting spot.
Tramaine Brock vs Shawntae Spencer vs Tarell Brown: Reports out of camp are giving Brock the edge opposite Rogers. Spencer has been banged up and hasn’t gotten chances to show the new coaching staff his skills. Spencer is not a lock at this point and he’ll have to get on the field and prove to the coaches that he deserves that spot. Brown is looking to be the one on the outside looking in. His play tonight is crucial for him getting a spot on this team.
Kendall Hunter vs Anthony Dixon: Which one of the runningbacks will get the nod to backup Gore. Dixon has the edge, but Dixon dances to much and doesn’t hit the hole like he should. Talk in camp is Hunter is turning heads and he will push Dixon hard for that 2nd spot. This is one battle that should continue hard into the last preseason game.