How many draft picks can we realistically add to our roster? Let's take a look. First, let's look at the locks for our roster:
QB: Colin Kaepernick/Blaine Gabbert
|RB: Frank Gore/Kendall Hunter/LMJ/Marcus Lattimore|
|FB: Bruce Miller|
|WR: Crabs/The General/Anquan Boldin|
|TE: Vernon Davis/McDroptimus Prime|
|S: Reid/Bethea/[Dahl or Spillman]/Ventrone|
That's 21 on D, but since Bowman will start the season on PUP, that only counts as 20. The total is 38, plus our 3 special teamers makes 41, but there are still specific roles to fill.
FB2: Tukuafu is the designated backup but we may role with only one FB on the roster.
WR4: You need a fourth receiver, and it is not Osgood (he is a special teamer). This is Jon Baldwin's spot to lose, but he has to get his s___ together quick.
DE2: If Carradine backs up Smith, who backs up Ray? TJE and Dobbs are competing, but neither are locks.
ILB2: While Bowman is out, we have a space here. Fill it with a rookie and they can potentially go to the practice squad when Bowman comes back. Who knows what is going on with Fleming.
CB4&5: We will carry 5 cornerbacks and Eric Wright is not a lock. Dax "Ron" Swanson has a great name, but that is all I know about him.
Safety: We won't dump both Dahl and Spillman, but I could see one of them getting pushed out. Spillman has a more specific special teams role, but something that Osgood and Morris could potentially fill.
So, that's 4-5 guys on offense and 4-5 on defense. If you filled all 10 roles, you still have 2 spots open. I really think Osgood comes back in fills one of them. That leaves 1 spot open for QB3 or for stashing a player. My preference is Okoye...as QB3, but we will see.
53 - 41 - Osgood = 11 potential openings
The FO is not planning on using all 11 draft picks, and they are still interviewing veteran WRs and CBs. Assume TJE or Dobbs wins a spot, Eric Wright works out, and we keep both Dahl and Spillman (only +1 from my count above). Assume we stash Okoye and don't draft a TE (Celek or Carrier).
11 - 5 probably filled by vets = 6 realistic openings
I could easily see us drafting 8 guys, and then 6 making the roster and 2 going to the PS. There is a good chance that they don't clear waivers, but that is the price you pay when you have a good roster.
Another thing to think about is that a first round pick might be good enough to bump one of the established starters above. Most likely, if that happens then everyone shifts down one. For example, Patton may get bumped from WR3 to WR4 (for the record, I see Patton starting by season's end).
Bottom line, there is plenty of space on the roster if we can find the talent.