This week's three-day minicamp is the main event of the San Francisco 49ers offseason program. The team will be practicing Tuesday through Thursday with all three sessions being mandatory for the entire roster.
The one exception to that rule is the team's first-round pick Arik Armstead, who is unable to attend the minicamp due to Oregon's quarter academic schedule. Rules prohibit Armstead from joining the 49ers until June 11, once all of Oregon's finals are complete.
After minicamp, the rookies will stick around for a few more weeks, but the rest of the team will be off until training camp opens late July. So, before the SAP Performance Facility clears out for the rest of June and July, here are five things every 49ers fan should be keeping tabs on this week.
5. Gang's All Here
As mentioned above, every player on the 49ers 90-man roster is required to be in attendance this week. That means the likes of wide receiver Anquan Boldin, right guard Alex Boone and kicker Phil Dawson will be watched closely after they were not in attendance for the OTA sessions that were open to the Bay Area media.
For Boldin, it's an opportunity to reacquaint himself with former Baltimore Ravens teammate and 49ers free-agent signee Torrey Smith. The two wideouts played together for two seasons from 2011-12 and will be key cogs in Geep Chryst's offense in 2015. Boldin's post-practice analysis of quarterback Colin Kaepernick will also be something to look forward to. The 13-year veteran is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons since joining the 49ers in 2013.
Boone's arrival is a welcome sight following the retirement of right tackle of Anthony Davis. More on that to follow.
Dawson will have the opportunity to meet his new holder for the upcoming season. Again, stay tuned.
4. Colin Kaepernick and the Passing Attack
The 49ers quarterback has been sharp throughout OTAs after working hard to hone his craft this offseason. This week he'll finally get to operate with his full arsenal of weapons. The chemistry between Kap and Boldin is a given, but it will be interesting to see where everyone lines up.
Boldin will likely be in the slot, but who lines up next to him at split-end (commonly referred to as the "X" receiver)? Is it Smith? Or maybe Smith will be across the field from Boldin as the flanker (commonly referred to as the "Z" receiver). Who rounds out the three-receiver sets? Is it Jerome Simpson? Quinton Patton? Bruce Ellington? Or one of the other seven wideouts on the roster?
Similarly, will we begin to see any sort of depth chart at the tight end position behind Vernon Davis?
So many questions, maybe we'll get a few answers this week.
3. The Bradley Pinion Era Has Begun
Unless there's an unforeseen turn of events before training camp, the 2015 fifth-round selection will be the 49ers punter in 2015. Intrigue of the upcoming position battle with Andy Lee was squashed when the 49ers traded the 11-year veteran to Cleveland over the weekend.
Pinion, the former Clemson Tiger averaged 42.6 yards per punt in 2014, which ranked fifth among all ACC punters. Pinion's 28 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line led the ACC and also broke his own school record.
Pinion was also a kick-off specialist at Clemson, a role he could very well assume with San Francisco. It will all depend how much the coaching staff wants to put on the rookie's plate.
Minicamp will be a great preview of what he has to offer.
2. Continued Competition at Cornerback
OTAs were a constant carousel at the cornerback position. Minicamp will likely be a similar format, but it's another huge opportunity for all nine corners on the roster. If you need a refresher, here's a rundown at the position in alphabetical order: Kenneth Acker, Tramaine Brock, Chris Cook, Marcus Cromartie, Mylan Hicks, Dontae Johnson, Leon McFadden, Keith Reaser and Shareece Wright.
Both starting cornerback positions, in addition to the nickel corner, are wide open with no one having any apparent leg-up on the competition.
Cornerback will be the second-most watched position this week because…
1. Competition at Right Tackle Begins
…the retirement of Davis now leaves a void on the right side of the offensive line. All eyes will be on 2015 seventh-round pick Trent Brown, who Jim Tomsula has already touted as having “tremendous ability.”
The former Florida Gator is a mammoth tackle, standing 6-foot-8 and 355 pounds, but he won't get the job without earning it.
"I'm not looking at you now telling you Trent Brown is going to start at right tackle. But I'm also not telling you he won't," Tomsula said after the team concluded OTAs.
It's also realistic that Boone could get reps at right tackle and ultimately take over for Davis. At this point, however, that's purely speculation.
Erik Pears could also figure into the competition.