Players report to 49ers training camp Friday, with the first practice set for Saturday. The next few weeks of camp and the exhibition season will determine what type of team will be ready for Game 1 of the regular season in September.
There will be training camp battles, injuries, surprises and transactions ahead, but these would be the five perfect scenarios for the 49ers and their fans in the coming weeks:
Jimmy Garoppolo – The quarterback picks up where he left off before his knee injury early last season and is 100 percent fit with a complete grasp of Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
One NFL general manager recently told Mike Sando of The Athletic he believes a healthy Garoppolo could have a big season.
“He is really accurate, he is smart and he is athletic, but he hasn’t played a lot of football and you see it at times,” said the GM, who was not named. “I just think he’s got everything if he can stay healthy. It sounds like he will have a better cast this year, and he’s got the coach.”
Pass rush – Top draft pick Nick Bosa (who just signed) shows he’s the real deal, as good (or better) than his older brother, Joey, an elite pass rusher with the Chargers. Newcomer Dee Ford also fits in nicely at the other end spot and Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas all fit together to form a terrific front.
Receivers on the rise – Second-round pick Deebo Samuel shows in exhibition games that he can be a physical wide receiver, able to turn short passes into long gains, and second-year man Dante Pettis stays healthy. Trent Taylor shakes off injuries and slump from 2018 to again look like a terrific slot receiver.
He’s back – Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon regains his form of 2017 – when he looked like a potential star – and nails down the starting spot opposite Richard Sherman.
Offensive line – Center Weston Richburg, healthy again, shows he can play the way he did with the Giants before coming to San Francisco last season. With a healthy Richburg and more progress from the guard spots (Laken Tomlinson, Mike Person or Josh Garnett), the offensive line could be solid and allow Garoppolo and a new group of running backs to succeed.