The San Francisco 49ers are returning the majority of key figures from last season's Super Bowl runner-up. Coach Kyle Shanahan has more depth than starting spots up for grabs in training camp. He was also able to return essentially every member of a coaching staff that probably includes at least three future head coaches.
The NFC West franchise will lean heavily on some familiar faces this fall. CBS Sports explores five roles that could be mired in competition leading up to the regular season.
1. Right guard
Veteran Mike Person was released and has since announced his retirement following the team's Super Bowl run. Shanahan now finds himself in the unenviable situation of replacing him. The next starting right guard is likely the winner of a competition between Tom Compton and Daniel Brunskill. The former is a traveled veteran with eight years of experience. The latter is on his second NFL team with just seven starts to his name.
Fans and analysts alike project Sherman to regress with each passing year but he continues to play at a high level. The questions arise when exploring the options opposite him. Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon are the leaders in the clubhouse. Witherspoon, a third round pick in 2017, has recorded three interceptions in as many seasons. It would be unwise to rule out Jason Verrett, who has battled injuries but possesses immense talent as a former first round selection.
K'Waun Williams is the obvious starter at nickelback. He is a physical player willing to involve himself in each play.
3. Wide receiver
General manager John Lynch has taken some bites of the apple -- Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne -- but finding long-term contributors has been a struggle. A year ago, a big step forward was taken with the selection of Deebo Samuel. The South Carolina product was used in a variety of roles to accentuate his strength; movement skills with the ball in space.
One of the team's two first round picks was spent on Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk is a shifty option in San Francisco's downfield passing attack. A healthy Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd should also command some targets in that offense. There will be no shortage of speed for the NFC West franchise in 2020.
4. Tight end
George Kittle has established himself as one of the two premier tight ends in the NFL. The depth behind Kittle was rather shallow, however. San Francisco had two tight ends on the field for 30% of their snaps last season. In an ideal world, both would be viable receiving threats.
Charlie Woerner was drafted in the sixth round but his skill set is more of the blocking variety. Ross Dwelley and Daniel Helm return to the roster. The most appealing option is Jordan Reed, formerly of the Redskins. The 49ers signed him Aug. 3. He has an extensive history of concussions that has cost him 31 games since entering the league in 2013. When on the field, he has averaged 5.1 receptions per game.
5. Defensive tackle
DeForest Buckner was cast away to the Colts in exchange for the No. 13 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. San Francisco used that choice to select South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. Next to Kinlaw is Solomon Thomas, who has shown marginal improvement but is not where a former first round selection should be at this stage of his career. Thomas' leash is long with dominant, established pass rushers on either side of him. However, Ronald Blair and D.J. Jones are more than qualified of applying some pressure at the spot. Blair is currently on the PUP list but was a coveted free agent when healthy.