The San Francisco 49ers get their first practice of training camp underway later today, and so now seemed as good a time as any to provide our first 53-man roster projection for the 2013 season. Our last true roster projection was shortly after the 2013 NFL Draft. I thought we had done more, but apparently not!
This somewhat reflects my thoughts on how the depth chart will shake out as well, but I'm more just focused on the totality of the players involved. First off I'll run down the 53 guys I project to the roster, then we'll look at the last five players on and last five players off.
QB (3): Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy, B.J. Daniels
RB (3): Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James
FB (2): Bruce Miller, Anthony Dixon
WR (5): Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, Ricardo Lockette
TE (3): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek
OT (3): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Carter Bykowski
OG (3): Mike Iupati, Alex Boone, Joe Looney
C (2): Jonathan Goodwin, Daniel Kilgore
DE (4): Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Tank Carradine, Demarcus Dobbs
NT (3): Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Quinton Dial
OLB (5): Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Parys Haralson, Corey Lemonier, Dan Skuta
ILB (4): Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Nick Moody
FS (3): Eric Reid, Craig Dahl, Trenton Robinson
SS (2): Donte Whitner, C.J. Spillman
CB (5): Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Nnamdi Asomugha, Perrish Cox
Last Five On: Michael Wilhoite, Demarcus Dobbs, Anthony Dixon, Ricardo Lockette, Carter Bykowski
Given that training camp is only just getting started, I basically went through and made my choices with a bit of gut instinct. It was interesting because when I went through and set the roster, I was right at 53 players without even counting. I made one a couple small changes, but this is what I'll go wtih for now.
The most glaring part of it is all the linebackers. The 49ers carried seven linebackers, and right now I have them projected with nine. I really don't see nine linebackers making the roster, but it's a tough call right now. If Dan Skuta, Michael Wilhoite and/or Nick Moody do not make the roster, it would seemingly be for another special teams options. Do we go with Kassim Osgood, Darcel McBath or Will Tukuafu instead? I honestly don't know.
I think you could easily swap out some of these last five guys and make a reasonable argument for their inclusion. Feel free to do so in the comments.