One of the position battles we'll be following tomorrow is the third tight end position. Demarcus Dobbs and Konrad Reuland are doing battle for the right to come in on heavy packages, and of course provide some rest for Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker.
I am fairly convinced Demarcus Dobbs makes this roster even without being the third tight end. He brings crazy athleticism and motor to the defensive end position, as well as his work on special teams. Having him potentially work more or less as a three-way player would be the proverbial icing on the cake. He has been getting plenty of practice across the board, even getting a special black jersey so he does not have to constantly shift between red and white jerseys based on where he is practicing.
Where it gets interesting though is how the 49ers will factor all this into figuring out their 46-man active roster. While the 49ers will keep 53 players on their season-long roster, they have to deactivate seven of them. Given how deep this roster is getting, that means solid players in street clothes each week. We've spent all our time discussion the 53-man roster, but eventually we'll need to start considering the 46-man roster as well.
In the comments of the last depth chart post, Drew put together his own look at the potential 46-man active roster. This just goes to show how many questions there will be in figuring out the game-day roster. This is one reason I think Dobbs has the edge on Reuland. Of course, if Dobbs struggles these next three games, he could very well just stick on defense and special teams. But, if it comes down to roster cut day and all things are equal, one would have to think Dobbs gets the edge based on versatility.
Demarcus Dobbs Video