2010 NFL Question Marks: San Francisco 49ers

GLENDALE - NOVEMBER 25:  Joe Staley #74 and Adam Snyder #68 of the San Francisco 49ers walk on the field during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 25, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the 49ers and their growing concerns along the offensive line.

The NFC West has emerged as the weakest division in football. The Rams are atrocious, the Cardinals are in transition mode and nobody quite knows what to make of the new-look Seahawks.

That’s why the 49ers are so intriguing. People have fallen in love with Mike Singletary’s coaching style and are encouraged about the development of former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith. They also have a great talent at running back in Frank Gore, a suddenly decent receiving corps thanks to Michael Crabtree, a stud tight end in Vernon Davis, and a young, energetic defense that has taken on Singletary’s ferocity and swagger.

But Smith and the rest of the offense will only go as far as the offensive line takes them and as of this moment, things don’t look good for the Niners’ front five.

Singletary has already named rookies Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati the starters at right tackle and left guard, respectively. Both first-rounders certainly have the talent to succeed, but as with any young player in the NFL, Davis and Iupati will likely struggle in their first years. It’s only inevitable.

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