49ers 53-Man Roster Projection After Three Weeks

The 49ers have made it through three games of the preseason and the most significant positive thus far is that they've avoided too many significant injuries. They lost some guys in the first week of camp, but otherwise it's mostly been garden-variety bumps and bruises.

This has been a tough preseason for prognosticating the 53-man roster. It's never an exact science, but this preseason is all the more difficult. The lockout shortened up offseason preparations considerably and one has to imagine all the more emphasis will go into practice and classroom work. The coaching staff can't ignore what happened on the field and Coach Harbaugh seemed to indicate accordingly in his conference call yesterday.

After the jump check out my latest 53-man roster presentation and a few comments on my choices.

QB (3): Alex Smith, Colin KaepernickJosh McCown

RB (3)Frank Gore, Anthony Dixon, Kendall Hunter

FB (1): Moran NorrisBruce Miller

TE (3)Vernon DavisDelanie WalkerKonrad Reuland

WR (5)Braylon EdwardsMichael CrabtreeJosh Morgan, Kyle Williams, Ted Ginn

OT (3)Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Alex Boone

OG (5)Mike IupatiChilo RachalAdam SnyderDaniel Kilgore, Mike Person

C (1)Jonathan Goodwin

NT (2)Isaac SopoagaIan Williams

DE (4)Justin SmithRay McDonaldRicky Jean Francois, Demarcus Dobbs

OLB (4)Aldon SmithParys HaralsonAhmad BrooksAntwan Applewhite

ILB (4)Patrick WillisNaVorro BowmanLarry GrantBlake Costanzo

CB (6)Carlos RogersShawntae SpencerTarell BrownChris CulliverPhillip AdamsTramaine Brock

S (5)Dashon GoldsonDonte WhitnerReggie SmithMadieu WilliamsC.J. Spillman

K (1)David Akers

P (1)Andy Lee

LOS (1)Brian Jennings


Last Four On
: Ted Ginn, C.J. Spillman, Phillip Adams, Moran Norris

First Four Off: Will Tukuafu, Curtis Taylor, Ronald Johnson, Dominique Zeigler


While I know some folks think Moran Norris might as well be gone with the first ten roster cuts, I think he is a guy who is as much a bubble candidate as anybody. I've got him back on the roster this week, with Ronald Johnson as my latest cut. It's probably an overreaction to his big time struggles on Saturday, but I'm just not sure what to make of him for now. I'd say Moran Norris is my biggest bubble player right now in part because I just don't know how the coaching staff feels about him.

Speaking of the wide receiver position, it opens the door to a lot of questions, particularly between Johnson, Ted Ginn and Dominique Zeigler. Given the fact that the team has Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker as their tight ends, they could easily slot them into wide receiver roles in four and five receiver packages. And in fact the 49ers will use them at times in those roles, even if they keep six receivers. However, given the personnel at their disposal, I could very well see the team keeping only five wide receivers.

Other than that the only significant change was going with Demarcus Dobbs over Will Tukuafu. It seemed like Tukuafu had a solid enough performance on Saturday (we'll hit the film on that), Dobbs has really made some eye-popping plays. I think this is still a battle that will go down to the wire this week in practice and on Thursday during the game. I'm not sure how well it would work, but maybe get a series or two with Dobbs and Tukuafu both on the line at the same time?

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