The word is "competition" and the modus operandi is bringing in a bunch of players and letting them settle it during training camp. That’s the way it is under general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The coach has said that every job is open, but in fact there some 49ers who are very much assured of a starting job, with Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman leading the list.
At the same time, there are a few people who will find themselves pushed for a job, and as such, their performance will determine where they stand on the depth chart come September. Here are the eight 49ers who could drop down.