Six under-the-radar 49ers to watch as NFL training camps approach
D.J. Jones, DL
The 49ers parted ways with All-Pro DeForest Buckner this offseason, but brought in defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw in the NFL draft to take his place. Jones started 11 games for the 49ers before being place on injured reserve in December with an ankle injury.
Jones is more of a traditional nose tackle, and will be relied upon to plug up the interior of the defensive line, allowing for elite rushers like Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford to get after the quarterback. In order for the 49ers' defense to be as dominant as it was in 2019, Jones and the rest of the defensive line will have to step up.
Daniel Brunskill, OL
Brunskill was a valuable reserve for the 49ers' offensive line, and ended up making seven starts in 2019, playing a total of 474 snaps. Brunskill prides himself on versatility, and can be plugged into all five spots along the offensive line.
Former New York Jets guard Tom Compton was brought in this offseason, and he and Brunskill likely will fight for the starting position at right guard. Even if he's not, Brunskill will be the first man up if any of the other four starters goes down with an injury.
Salvon Ahmed, RB
Ahmed was one of two running backs the 49ers picked up as an undrafted free agent. The Washington product ran just a 4.62 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, which likely played a large factor in why he his name wasn't called in April.
But Ahmed's shifty running along with elite metrics in zone blocking could make him a surprise fit for the 49ers' running back room. Especially if Raheem Mostert ends up being traded before the season begins, Ahmed could be a sneaky pick for making the final 53-man roster.
Jalen Hurd, WR
A former five-star recruit coming out of high school, Hurd switched positions during his time in college and ended up being drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the 49ers.
Hurd caught a touchdown pass in a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, but suffered a back injury and didn't play a regular-season snap in his rookie season.
Deebo Samuel's injury has made it unclear whether he'll be available for Week 1, and with so many young and untested wide receivers on the 49ers roster, Hurd could make a name for himself and earn some targets in 2020.
Dre Greenlaw, LB
Greenlaw got plenty of love from the Faithful in his rookie season, as his remarkable backstory combined with a game-winning tackle during the Week 17 win in Seattle made him a popular guy.
But with Kwon Alexander and Fred Warner lining up alongside him in a 4-3 defense, Greenlaw often gets overshadowed. Don't be surprised if he becomes a household name around the NFL by the end of his second season if continues his development trajectory.
Marcell Harris, S
Harris spent the first few weeks of last season on the 49ers practice squad but was promoted following the Week 4 bye after Antone Exum was waived. Harris ended up starting four games, and his highlight of the season was forcing a fumble on eventual NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
He'll have some competition for maintaining the backup safety job with UDFA Jared Mayden out of Alabama, but Harris has the potential to earn some extended playing time in 2020, especially if Tartt or Jimmie Ward end up struggling early in the season.