5 Position Battles to Watch During San Francisco OTAs

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5 Position Battles to Watch During San Francisco OTAs
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh loves competition and he is getting just that during this season's OTAs.

As the San Francisco 49ers wrap up their second week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), there have already been plenty of stories that have highlighted the team's prospects heading towards the 2013 season.

Chief among them was the unfortunate news that standout wide receiver Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles tendon two days into OTAs, resulting in surgery the following day.  The injury and subsequent surgery will have a substantial impact on the 49ers' offense. Crabtree may miss most, or even all, of the 2013 season, which would put increased pressure on the remaining San Francisco receivers.

Last season, Crabtree emerged as a favorite target of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  In the wake of Crabtree's injury, someone else will have to step up if the 49ers hope to return to the Super Bowl once more this season.

While the situation at wide receiver has garnered the most attention during San Francisco's OTAs, there are other significant position battles taking place as well. The 49ers have a lot of depth at running back, and it will be interesting to see which backs will rise and which may fall on the depth charts.

There were also additions in the defensive backfield, including safety Craig Dahl as well as 49ers' first-round draft choice Eric Reid.  Rookies like Cornelius "Tank" Carradine and Quinton Dial hope to have legitimate impacts during these workouts.

How they perform during OTAs, combined with what the 49ers' coaching staff sees in them, will have a direct result on where these players fall in San Francisco's depth chart.

Certainly there are some positions on the roster that are all but guaranteed.  Kaepernick will be the starting quarterback.  San Francisco's offensive line should employ the same five guys as last year.  The 49ers linebacker corps should remain one of the best in the NFL.  However, there are position battles taking place within and among what may be considered as "locked" positions.

If one thing is known, head coach Jim Harbaugh loves competition among his players and will not hesitate to have his players push each other in order to earn coveted spots at each position.

Here are five position battles to keep an eye on during OTAs, with predictions regarding where each player at the position may wind up on the 49ers' depth chart.

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