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The 49ers’ offseason was highlighted by a major trade up in the NFL draft and the retention of essentially all their key free agents. Going into training camp though, their roster is now littered with intriguing names added through both the draft and free agency.

While the likes of Trent Williams, Fred Warner, Nick Bosa and Raheem Mostert all figure to spearhead the 49ers’ attempt to get back to Super Bowl contention, a slew of new additions could be essential in getting the club over the hump.

Here are six of the new additions that offer the most intrigue with camp looming:

QB Trey Lance

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Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, could occupy multiple spots on this list. His training camp practices will be watched and scrutinized very closely, as will his preseason work. The question begins at whether he wins the starting job by Week 1, and if not, the focus turns to when he will take over for Jimmy Garoppolo. There’s the added factor of his elite athleticism and big-time arm in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense – both of which could elevate that unit to heights it couldn’t reach with Garoppolo at the helm.

DE Samson Ebukam

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The 49ers desperately need pass rush help, and their hope is that Ebukam can follow a similar career path to Buccaneers DE Shaq Barrett. Ebukam, like Barrett in Denver, was miscast with the Rams as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. That role didn’t allow him to take full advantage of his combination of size and athleticism. A 4-3 DE role in San Francisco could allow him to make a significant leap from his career high of 4.5 sacks. Barrett in his first year in a 4-3 in Tampa Bay led the NFL with 19.5 sacks after posting only 14 in four seasons with the Broncos. The 49ers defense could be dominant if Ebukam makes even a fraction of the leap Barrett did.

OL Aaron Banks

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Banks is fascinating because his success will have a sizable effect on the 49ers’ offense. If the big right guard from Notre Dame can step in as a rookie and bolster a position San Francisco has struggled to pin down over the last few years, it shores up perhaps the biggest weakness in their offense. He should be the starter right away, but concerns about his fit in Shanahan’s offense have to be answered in camp. How Banks acclimates will be a fun story line to follow.

S Tony Jefferson

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Jefferson was a late offseason addition, but he could end up taking on an important role in the 49ers’ secondary. The 29-year-old was a starter on a couple very good defenses in Arizona and Baltimore before a torn ACL sidelined him for most of 2019. He didn’t play at all in 2020. Now he’s in San Francisco where a torn Achilles for Tarvarius Moore has put an even bigger question mark next to who’ll start alongside Jimmie Ward. Jefferson may not only contend for the starting strong safety spot, but he might wind up filling in for Ward who’s dealt with injury issues throughout his career. The 49ers could use some additional playmaking in their secondary, and Jefferson’s versatility might make him a key cog in San Francisco’s defensive backfield.

RB Elijah Mitchell

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There’ll be plenty of eyeballs on rookie third-round pick Trey Sermon, but Mitchell, a sixth-round pick, carries more intrigue with him into camp. He played his college football at Louisiana-Lafayette, and ran in the 4.3s in his pre-draft 40-yard dash. He also has a downhill running style that makes him extremely difficult to tackle. With Raheem Mostert on the final year of his contract, San Francisco may be eyeing his replacement. Mitchell could fit that bill.

WR Austin Watkins Jr.

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It’s been a roller coaster for Watkins to start his NFL career after signing as an undrafted free agent. He’s a big, physical receiver who played his college football at Alabama-Birmingham and joined San Francisco with a ton of hype. His rookie minicamp didn’t go well, and the hype has dwindled considerably. Watkins will get more than a month between OTAs and training camp though, and he’ll have a chance to play his physical style in pads during camp. While Watkins may have slipped down some depth charts, he still offers enough upside to make him an interesting follow in camp.