LBs will need to carry defense

As another NFL season approaches, Scouts Inc. breaks down every roster and offers position-by-position breakdowns.

Head coach Mike Nolan has yet to name his starter, as the first overall pick in this year's draft Alex Smith and last year's starter Tim Rattay are expected to compete for the job.

Smith's inexperience and the fact that he played in a wide open offense that simplified his reads, are reasons for concern, but he still has the edge in this competition for three reasons. The first is new offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy's West Coast scheme is far different than the offense San Francisco ran last year. As a result, both quarterbacks are learning a new scheme. The second is Rattay missed seven games with injuries last year.