The San Francisco 49ers trimmed down their roster to 53 players on Saturday. The most notable cuts were wideout LaVelle Hawkins and veteran long-snapper Brian Jennings, who was a part of the organization for 13 seasons. Let’s take a closer look at every position.
Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy, BJ Daniels.
After the release of Tolzien and memorable Seneca Wallace era ended, there are no real surprises here. It will interesting, though, if Daniels can beat out McCoy during practice and become the backup.
Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Bruce Miller, Anthony Dixon.
Gore is getting up there in age, but is still as reliable as any back in the league. Kendall Hunter has a little bit of everything, and expect his carries to go up this season to keep Gore fresh. If Owen Marecic signs, it will be interesting to see how this affects Dixon. Miller’s spot is secure.
Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Marlon Moore, Jon Baldwin
The wide-out situation is what may concern 49ers fans as much as any position on the team. But I think they should be fine. Boldin still has a couple of solid seasons left in the tank. Stop associating Kyle Williams with the NFC Championship fumbles, and he is a solid receiver that will be counted on. Patton and Moore proved themselves to be capable of producing. When Manningham and Crabtree are thrown in the mix, their passing game will turn from their biggest question mark to their biggest strength.
Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek
Davis didn’t have the regular season that he was hoping for, but he and Kaepernick clicked in the postseason, as he had 254 receiving yards in three games. Expect Davis, with the loss of Crabtree, to line up at wide-out more. Losing Delanie Walker hurts, but he fit his role of backup tight end nicely. Expect McDonald and Celek to do the same.
Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Anthony Davis, Alex Boone, Adam Snyder, Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney
Staley is among the best offensive linemen in the NFL. And remember that “boring” draft in which San Francisco took Iupati and Davis in the first round? Well, it is surely paying dividends now.
Donte Whitner, Eric Reid, Craig Dahl, CJ Spillman, Bubba Ventrone
The 49ers weren’t willing to give Dashon Goldson the amount of cash that other teams were willing to, so they used their arsenal of draft picks to get into the first round to take Eric Reid out of LSU. And he hasn’t disappointed. Reid is faster, has better coverage, and at a younger age, has a much brighter upside. Sure, we won’t see the handful of blasting hits from Goldson this year, but we might see a player who is better at playing the position.
Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Nnamdi Asomugha, Tramaine Brock, Perrish Cox
Rogers and Brown will be the two starters, but expect Asomugha, who earned his way onto the roster after signing a contract with no guarenteed money, to be part of the mix.
Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Ian Williams, Glenn Dorsey, Will Tukuafu, Tony Jerod-Eddie
Smith seems to be healed from his late season triceps injury, and with this season possibly being his last, you know that will he give it all he has. Newly signed Glenn Dorsey has been praised by Smith for his work, stating that there hasn’t been a dropoff from the departure of Isaac Sopoaga.
Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Cam Johnson, Dan Skuta, Cory Lemonier
Aldon Smith has the most sacks out of any player in the history of the NFL during their first two seasons in the league. Justin Smith won’t be around forever to make things easier for him, so this is the season for Smith to take the next step of showing that he can get to the quarterback by himself. Ahmad Brooks really shined last season and Cam Johnson solidified a spot on the roster after his two sacks, a blocked punt and touchdown in San Francisco’s 41-6 rout over the Chargers
Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Nick Moody, Nate Stupar
You can make a case for Willis and Bowman being the two best ILB’s in the NFL. And you won’t look crazy. And you might actually be right. And they’re on the same team.
Andy Lee, Phil Dawson, Kevin McDermott
49er fans never get tired of seeing Lee burying opponents inside the 10. Dawson was a great pickup by the 49ers – he never missed a FG last season longer than 50 yards. A warm farewell to Brian Jennings, who did his job so wonderfully for 13 years, but was beat out by young Kevin McDermott, whom the 49ers can hope be the man they don’t have to worry about for the 13.
Physically Unable to Perform List
Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham
If everyone is healthy, Crabtree is the top receiver, followed by Boldin and then Manningham. If all goes well and the 49ers are playing winning football, then the return of the No. 1 and No. 3 wide receivers will make them that much better.
There you have it, the 2013-2014 San Francisco 49ers. Will this be the roster that wins the Super Bowl? A lot can happen over the next six months, and it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.
Tags: San Francisco 49ers