OK, so there is a lot of disagreement as to who is going to make the roster, and most of it is centered on the O-Line and receiving corps. We could be arguing about which TEs make it (for me, Mourrah is the odd man out), or who Kaep's backup is going to be (I think Tolzien will be PS or cut), or who is going to play more between Hunter and James (Hunter, but only by a few snaps), but it seems like the biggest issues are: Who is going to be protecting Kaep? And: Who is he going to be throwing to?
Who I think will make the O-Line:
I see no reason to break up the chemistry of the starting lineup, although there is a case to be made that it is possible for one of the young guys to usurp Goodwin. He makes a lot of money, but the continuity is important, and if they can afford to have the young guys train and learn the playbook for another season, then why not? Goodwin actually was on the field more last year than Iupati and Staley (he played 980 of 1,005 plays, while Staley played 958 and Iupati even fewer)
I think the backups on the 53 will be:
They used Kilgore a lot last year (about 70 snaps). He is probably the one who is most familiar with the offensive system. To me, it is really a tossup between Snyder and Looney for the spot on the active roster; we will see how Looney performs in the preseason and if he even makes the team (same with Snyder). I know a lot of people do not like Snyder; I see him as a decent backup, who shouldn't be playing every down, but he won't be. He is insurance, and I like the fact that 49ers have insurance with experience. I really think that he makes the team.
I could also see the stashing Bykowski on the PS and Marquadt on one of the injury lists.
With regard to the WRs:
Crabtree and Boldin are obvious.
I bet that Jenkins and Lockette will both make strides after training for an offseason with Kaepernick. It's quite possible that Lockette makes it as a kick or punt returner; I don't see him knocking off any of the other 3 guys though. If he makes the active roster, then I'm pretty sure that Patton will be on the inactive list; there would be 6 receivers on the 53.
Kyle Williams knows the system (if he is healthy, he definitely has big play potential). Jenkins and Patton could both be either 4 or 5. I think that Jenkins will get his opportunity, and, if he performs, GREAT! If not, he will be gone next year. Patton probably won't crack the active 46 unless there is an injury.
Manningham could mess this list up in the middle of the season. I doubt he gets cut, and this is my reasoning: I don't think that the 49ers would cut him (or Parys Haralson, for that matter) after having renegotiated their contracts in the offseason. It would hurt their credibility and leverage to further bargain with players in the future. (Why take a pay cut if the team is likely to cut you anyway?) So, what happens when (and if) Manningham comes back? He plays the role of Haralson, sparing the starters and playing on situational downs. Would he knock Jenkins off of the active roster? Maybe, but I really think that that all depends on how well (or poorly) Jenkins plays when he is given the chance. Jenkins might not see the field at all, even if both Manningham and Williams are still hurt when the season begins. If he doesn't play well enough, I don't think that Harbaugh and Co. will have that much patience with him.
To me, it is a good problem to have if you have a hard time deciding which receiver will make the active roster. It's always better to have more good players, right?
I'm sure that we will be debating this subject all off-season long, mainly because there isn't much else to discuss right now. I can't wait for the season to start!
I am just really happy the Harbaugh and Baalke are calling the shots and not me.