Even the most casual observer of the NFL has to know that the San Francisco 49ers, those noted upstarts of 2011, seem to have loaded up for bear in 2012. Key free-agent acquisitions coupled with intriguing draft choices will make for a compelling training camp in Jim Harbaughville.
It is a team that, two months prior to training camp, will be ripped with competitive battles at key positions. The new players—free agents and draftees alike—always bring a rich attraction based on potential, but neither we nor the coaches will know how it all pans out until we see the head-to-head clashes in camp.
Head-to-head battles will go a long way toward assessing general manager Trent Baalke’s intent, which is to bring in as many good players as possible and let them battle it out for a roster slot. Here are the eight top battles from a mid-May perspective.