with all the talk about LaMichael James' Future with the team, I was inspired to look ahead to the 2014 roster.
Here we go - here's what I think we have going into the draft...discussion later.
Interior Offensive Line:
Discussion: To start, I believe we let the following players walk or only give them a camp invite:
To be honest, I’m not going to miss any of those guys. I have us re-signing Tramaine Brock, Eric Wright, and Michael Wilhoite; players let go are either not worth the money (T. Brown, Manningham) or just aren’t that good (Kyle Williams). Carlos Rogers gets released unless he wants to re-structure. Assuming Brock, Wright, and Wilhoite re-sign for the same amount they make now (I know they won’t, obviously), we’re looking at around $13m in cap space based on a $124m cap. That $13m can be used to extend players and sign a couple key free agents. We have a ton of cap space.
Now, a look at position groups:
Quarterbacks: I expect the 49ers to sign a veteran quarterback and draft a quarterback at a fairly high level – 3rd – 5th rounds. It’s a great year for quarterbacks, and developing a solid backup behind Kap is something Harbaugh is clearly intent on doing. Imagine someone like Keith Price (UW) in the 5th round.
Running Backs: Probably the most interesting group. I do not see Gore being released, but I think it may be possible to see a one year extension/renegotiation. So, in 2014 we will see Gore as the primary back but with diminishing carries. Lattimore and Hunter make up the remainder. LMJ will get spot duty unless he steps up – and he will be the full-time KR/PR.
Tight Ends and Wide Receivers: We are set at Tight End. Expect us to draft 1 – 2 Wide receivers, and don’t be shocked if we sign a bigger-name WR – Eric Decker would be incredible. Its our weakest unit. Phenomenal draft for wide receivers.
Interior Offensive Line: We are set at the position, unless Kilgore isn’t ready to Start at Center. If he isn’t, expect us to draft one fairly high. Grasu from Oregon would be nice – faster OC.
Offensive Tackle: Thin here – we need to draft a swing tackle – it was a need last year.
Cornerbacks: Culliver and Brock will be a pretty good coverage tandem, with Wright in the nickel. We will probably draft a player high here as well. Purifoy would be great.
Safeties: Whitner/Hitner had a great season, but he wants to get paid. As a result, We will replace him with a rookie, and go with Dahl if the rookie isn’t ready.
Defensive Line: We are set at the end positions, with Carradine rotating in w/ Smith and Macdonald. May need an extra nose tackle, but I’m happy with Williams, Dorsey, and Dial.
Inside Linebacker: plenty of depth, two all-pros.
Outside Linebacker: Smith, Lemonier, and Brooks form one of the better OLB groups in the NFL. Some of our ILBs can rotate in as well.
Special Teams: Set at P and LS. We will either sign a FA Kicker or draft one.
Draft Picks: (1) #1, (2) #2s, (2) #3s (I don’t think Goldson will net a 3rd round comp), (2) #4s, (1) #5, (1) #6, (4) #7s.
I think the roster looks great!