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49ers OTA Notes: Who benefits from others not participating?

Michael Wilhoite is one of many players who will receive a closer look
Michael Wilhoite is one of many players who will receive a closer look
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The 49ers organized team activities (OTAs) started last week. These are sessions which are voluntary for the veteran players with no pads and minimal contact.

While some players will choose to work out at home, a few will not be participating due to injuries. The result? Other players will get a closer examination by the coaching staff in their place for OTAs. Here is a look at who receives more experience with other players out:

OFFENSIVE LINE:

OUT: OT Anthony Davis, G Alex Boone, OL Jonathan Martin

BENEFICIARIES: OT Carter Bykowski, OT Al Netter, OL Fou Fonoti, G Joe Looney, G Ryan Seymour

Anthony Davis had surgery on his shoulder earlier this offseason where he suffered a torn labrum and bicep injury in Week 3 last year. Martin's original position was OT while at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh while Bykowski was a seventh-round draft pick in 2013. With Luke Marquardt being waived last week, Netter and Fonoti will receive more reps as reserves.

UPDATE: Alex Boone is holding out of OTAs in wanting a larger contract as first reported by ESPN. Adam Snyder would be the starting guard at OTAs, but the reps will increase for Looney and Seymour. Looney is one of two players remaining from the dreaded 49ers 2012 draft class. Seymour was signed off the Seahawks practice squad to the 53-man roster late last season and could receive some more looks with Boone out.

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RUNNING BACK:

OUT: Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde

BENEFICIARIES: Jewel Hampton, Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore

Gore appears to be sitting out of OTAs while Carlos Hyde missed the last session due to attending an NFLPA photo-shoot in Los Angeles. Hampton has been with the team since 2012 where he was a practice squad member in 2013. Lattimore is still limited, but it is getting work with Gore and Hyde missing.

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WIDE RECEIVER:

OUT: Jon Baldwin, Stevie Johnson

BENEFICIARIES: Quinton Patton, Devon Wylie, Bruce Ellington

Johnson is reportedly "working through something" while Baldwin is out with an undisclosed injury to start OTAs. This will be an important time for Quinton Patton to build off his catch in Week 17 of last year. He should be receiving most of the slow WR snaps in Johnson's place for OTAs. Wylie was signed to the practice squad last year while Ellington was the 49ers' fourth-round draft pick.

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TIGHT END:

OUT: Vernon Davis

BENEFICIARIES: Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Asante Cleveland, Derek Carrier

Davis is seeking a new contract as he will become a free agent after the 2015 season. With the veteran TE sitting out of OTAs, McDonald becomes the first-team TE while Celek and Cleveland will get more reps. Celek has been mostly a special teams player and blocking TE while Carrier was promoted from the practice squad last year. McDonald has shown promise as a blocking TE in 2013, but he will need to make his case as an upgrade in the passing game.

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DEFENSIVE LINE:

OUT: Ian Williams, Justin Smith

BENEFICIARIES: Quinton Dial, Mike Purcell, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Demarcus Dobbs, Tank Carradine

Williams is still recovering from an ankle injury which he suffered in Week 2. There was an infamous cut block where Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy tripped him in the game. Glenn Dorsey was the starting NT last season, but the absence of Williams will open the door for 2013 fifth-round draft pick Quinton Dial and practice squad member Mike Purcell to have more reps. Dial was used sparingly for only a handful of snaps before remaining inactive on the 53-man roster.

With OTAs being voluntary, the well-traveled veteran is sitting out, similar to how he would take each Wednesday off during the regular season. Tony Jerod-Eddie should receive more snaps at DE in his place while Carradine will be eased into the rotation. Dobbs is on the bubble and could use this extra playing time to showcase himself. It's also handy that Ray McDonald is used sparingly throughout OTAs.

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INSIDE LINEBACKER:

OUT: NaVorro Bowman

BENEFICIARIES: Michael Wilhoite, Chris Borland, Nick Moody, Shayne Skov

Wilhoite is penciled in as the Week 1 starter to play alongside Patrick Willis, but he will be facing competition throughout OTAs and training camp as Bowman recovers from a torn ACL. Borland was a third-round draft pick who is a productive tackler. Moody was the team's sixth-round draft pick in 2013 where he was mostly a special teams player while Skov was a starting LB while at Stanford.

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SECONDARY:

OUT: C.J. Spillman, Eric Wright, Chris Culliver

BENEFICIARIES: D.J. Campbell, Perrish Cox, Craig Dahl, Chris Cook, Darryl Morris, Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker

Spillman is recovering from hand surgery which he had at the beginning of May. He will miss some time in OTAs, but should be healthy when training camp begins at the end of July. With a core special teamer out, anyone who wants to compete for a special teams role will have more reps. In the secondary, Dahl should receive more second-team defense playing time behind Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid.

With Culliver and Wright missing action, several CBs including Chris Cook will get more reps than before. Cook and Johnson both have the size to be a great cornerback and now they'll spend more time with coaches in OTAs.

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