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Which drafts from 2021 have a chance to start?



There is a consistent theme with the 2021 draft class of 49ers. All but one fit into such a track as a starring role entering their rookie seasons.

It seems based on the initial predictions for each choice that San Francisco’s eye was around 2022 and beyond when they made their choice, as the road to launch is crowded for almost all of them.

They made a quarterback, two attacking commanders, two running defenders, two corner defenders and a fuse. They have starters lined up for 2021 altogether, except for the right guard, where Aaron Banks from the second round should enter. Beyond that, the starting roles should open en masse next year.

With that in mind, we went through this year̵

7;s class to try to assess each player’s chances of being a starter when the 49 occupy the Week 1 box:

(AP Photo / Bruce Kluckhohn, file)

One of the reasons the 49 drew Lance while holding Jimmy Garopolo is that Garopolo can start while Lance develops. There are several ways for him to go out on the field in his first year, but it will take either Garopolo’s injury or a complete breakup in the camp so that Lance can start below the center.

Chances he starts: 8 percent

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Using the top 50 on guard means that the team is relatively confident that it can solve their problem in the right guard. His start in RG allowed Daniel Brunskill to serve as a backup for everything and pushed players like Colton McQueew and Justin Sculle down the depths to solidify his reserves up front. It would be a problem if Banks, the 48th overall pick, didn’t start.

Chances he starts: 91.4 percent

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The use of 49ers running backs is a little different than normal. The sermon may not receive credit for starts this year, but it should take into account one tone for their game and it would not be a surprise if it is their leading rush by the end of the year.

Chances to start: 24 percent

August 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines defender Ambry Thomas (1) performs a setback during the game against Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The new corners already have a steep hill to climb for a starting role. San Francisco is probably in the starting lineup with Jason Veret, Emanuel Moseley and K’Uon Williams. Things in the depth chart are then shaken. Thomas had a big 2019 before giving up in 2020. If he continues where he left off, he could be the fourth corner and the first from the bench if a starter is not available.

Chances he starts: 13 percent

(AP Photo / Rusty Costanza)

The plan is to move Moore, a dominant left-wing team at the college, inland, where his 6-4, 311-pound frame will fit better in the NFL. It would be a good problem for San Francisco if Moore insists on starting RG work, especially if Banks also plays well in camp. There are too many bodies in the front for Moore to actually fire as he exits the gate.

Chances he starts: 8.3 percent

(AP Photo / Jeff Chiu)

Lenoir plays outside in college, but plans to move to the role of the nickel corner with the 49ers. K’Waun Williams has nailed that starting spot, but Lenoir must immediately join special teams and could be the first nickel on the bench if Williams comes down.

Chances he starts: 9 percent

(Photo: Sean M. Huffy / Getty Images)

Hufanga can have a huge impact on special teams in Year 1, but initial safety work may not be in the immediate future. However, the 49 are not extremely deep in this position, especially the strong safety spot where Hufanga plans to play. On the other hand, the team may perceive him as Sam’s lineback, which opens the door for him to win a starting job right away.

Chances he starts: 11 percent

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Depth in the back room was a problem for San Francisco last year. It won’t be this year. Mitchell is big, fast and could fit the role of Raheem Mostert in the long run. There are too many players in front of him who will enter the year to know that he is a starter at some point.

Chances he starts: 3.8 percent


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