49ers Roster Moves: Analyzing the present 53-man roster

The cuts have had a bit of time to sink in and I think it's time to take a look at the 53-man roster. Though, after initial cuts, teams can generally be expected to make some moves. Some of the bubble players yesterday who ended up making it are still just that: bubble players. Boone, Taylor, Briggs, all of those guys could potentially still be cut in favor of someone coming down the waiver wire and things of that nature.

For the most part, things are set, but if something happened in the next two days, it wouldn't be shocking. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised by any cut the team could feasibly make. Either way, my confusion aside, I'm very excited with how good this roster looks at face value. Make the jump and we'll get into the nitty gritty.

Quarterbacks (3) Alex Smith, David Carr, Nate Davis
There's no surprises here. There were doubts that Davis would make it, and, thinking about it, I can still see him being a cut to bring in someone else if the team so needs. I'm not advocating the move, I'm just saying I can see it happening. For once we have an unquestioned starter in Alex Smith, and that's great.

Running Backs (4) Frank Gore, Moran Norris, Brian Westbrook, Anthony Dixon
The big surprise was cutting Michael Robinson. I think the team is decidedly weaker on special teams without him, but regardless, this is a strong roster of running backs with Gore leading the charge, another pro bowler in Westbrook backing him up, and Dixon just waiting in the wings. Norris is the unquestioned starter at the fullback position. Jehuu Caulcrick and Brit Miller didn't make the cut, and that's due in part to Nate Byham and his ability - but once again, I'm questioning the value of special teams to these coaches with the cutting of Miller, who looked good in McKillop's role. They're both good PS candidates, Caulcrick and Miller.

Tight Ends (3) Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Nate Byham
This is a rather solid position, wouldn't you say? Davis and Walker is the best group of 1-2 tight ends in the league, and Byham came on strong this preseason with his blocking and even showcased decent-to-good hands. Tony Curtis and Joe Jon Finley have always been lacking "something."

Wide Receivers (5) Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn Jr., Dominique Zeigler, Kyle Williams
Once again, no surprises. Ginn is our kickoff guy and Williams is our punt return guy, while Zeigler came on strong all preseason and looked great. Jason Hill is the big casualty here, and it sucks to see that because I think he was a pretty big fan favorite when it all came down to it.

Offensive Line (10) Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Eric Heitmann, Chilo Rachal, Anthony Davis, Barry Sims, Alex Boone, David Baas, Tony Wragge, Adam Snyder
This number will likely go down either soon, or at some point in the coming weeks when Eric Heitmann returns from injury. Cody Wallace is no longer a rather large roster exemption and guys like Wragge and Snyder will have to fight for a spot on the team.

Defensive Line (6) Justin Smith, Aubrayo Franklin, Isaac Sopoaga, Ray McDonald, Demetric Evans, Ricky Jean Francois
Expect to see one or two of the guys cut to make the practice squad. All three of the big cuts: Derek Walker, Khalif Mitchell and Will Tukuafu are all eligible for the practice squad. Jean Francois will try and push Sopoaga for his starting job throughout the season.

Inside Linebackers (3) Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, NaVorro Bowman
This is one that surprised me as well. Not because I was a fan of Matt Wilhelm, because I wasn't. I just don't see three inside linebackers being the team's style. I imagine in an injury situation, Ahmad Brooks or Diyral Briggs would kick over to the inside for the remainder of the game as the team may decide that if they need one long term they can sign him off the street much like Wilhelm last year. Still, the team could make a move relatively soon to increase this number if they wish.

Outside Linebackers (5) Parys Haralson, Manny Lawson, Ahmad Brooks, Diyral Briggs, Travis LaBoy
This is how I saw this stacking up, so there's no surprises. Brooks, Briggs and LaBoy are ALL pushing Haralson for a starting job right now and I wouldn't be surprised we replaced him at some point even though I think he's a little underrated. 

Cornerbacks (6) Nate Clements, Shawntae Spencer, Tarrell Brown, Will James, Phillip Adams, Tramaine Brock
Some surprises here. Karl Paymah, despite my huge dislike, seemed poise to make the roster over Will James. Phillip Adams was penciled in by a few people but I'm not sure if anyone had Brock in their projections. They both look to factor into special teams, though how often they're active, if at all, remains to be seen. I'd assume Brock is someone the team would cut if they needed a spot.

Safeties (5) Dashon Goldson, Michael Lewis, Reggie Smith, Taylor Mays, Curtis Taylor
The surprise here is the inclusion of Curtis Taylor. I liked the pick, I liked the draft. I liked him on he roster. But I don't see him contributing with these other guys now. Still, the team has depth at the position. Taylor Mays and Reggie Smith will be slowly mixed in.

Specialists (3) Joe Nedney, Andy Lee

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