Here are some things to watch for with the 49ers:
THIN RECEIVING CORPS: The 49ers lost No. 1 wideout Anquan Boldin, leaving them with only Torrey Smith as an experienced receiver in the unit.
With tight end Vernon Davis also gone, San Francisco must figure out the depth chart for its receivers. Bruce Ellington and Bruce Miller are expected to take on bigger roles. Miller has been primarily a key blocker at fullback but now is transitioning to tight end in Kelly’s scheme.
QUIET IN FREE AGENCY: General manager Trent Baalke hardly made a splash in free agency a year after adding Smith on a $40 million, five-year contract with $22 million guaranteed. Baalke acquired guard Zane Beadles after Alex Boone departed to the Vikings in free agency.
SPLITTING THE REPS: Kelly doesn’t envision any problems getting Kaepernick and Gabbert enough turns with the first team during training camp.
”We have enough reps. We get enough reps during the course of training camp and during the course of our training where it’s never been a concern for us in terms of, ‘Geez, we’re not going to get enough looks out there.’ So, we have enough reps for everybody,” Kelly said.
Kaepernick is eager to get back to work.
”Compete. That’s all I know how to do,” he said. ”Every year that I’ve stepped on the field, it’s a competition, whether people like to say you’re the No. 1 or not. It’s a competition. There’s always someone trying to be that starter, trying to make that step. And this year’s no different.”
HYDE’S COMEBACK: Carlos Hyde arrived last summer ready for a breakout second season as San Francisco’s No. 1 running back, then a foot injury derailed his year after seven games. He ran for 470 yards and three touchdowns, two of those TDs in a season-opening win against Minnesota.
There is depth behind Hyde, but who becomes his primary backup is yet to be seen. Shaun Draughn and DuJuan Harris provide reliable options in the backfield after both joined the 49ers midseason in 2015.
”I’ve been impressed with both of them,” Kelly said last month. ”I think they certainly have the ability to play in the NFL and have proven that. We’re excited to continue to work with them.”
DEFENSIVE LINE: With Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams again working back from significant injuries, Mike Purcell might be the man at nose tackle to start the year, a natural spot for him, according to Baalke.
Dorsey is recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, while Williams is dealing with further ankle problems.
On March 9, Williams reached agreement on a five-year deal that was restructured to a one-year contract once his doctors in Miami shared findings with the 49ers medical staff.
Add Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones to the long list of players who will miss games at the start of the coming season because of NFL suspension.
Jones will sit the first four games after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, as reported by the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson and others.
Signed by the Colts to a five-year, $33 million contract ($16 million guaranteed) in 2014, a deal that reunited him with his defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Chuck Pagano, and was meant to shore up the Colts’ bad run defense.