Needs, Wants, and the final 53 man roster

Needs, Wants, and the 53 man roster

I only see 2 needs for 2014: a WR and a CB. After that there are no needs, only positions I would want to upgrade. Balke will draft BPA, but try to avoid cutting any young talent in the process, so they will try to mold drafting BPA to their wish-list/more available slots in the roster. I think we should trade up at points in the draft because we want to draft BPA, but we also need to draft by need because we already have such a full roster with limited room. Balke could also ignore my wishlist when it comes to positions like safety, where they may only see fit to draft the position if they see a guy as a potential starter, cannot find one worth while at their draft position and choose to postpone the need a year. That is the benefit of having a stacked roster.

Assumptions: no players are traded or seriously injured before cutting the roster to the final 53.

53 man roster:

I am starting with the 51 roster spots I am most certain of.

The last two I believe are somewhat flexible.

Starting with…


2 quarterbacks are certain Kaep & Gabbert

5 RBs are my best guess for total running backs, the depth chart would be

Frank Gore, Marcus Lattimore

Kendall Hunter, Lamichael James

Bruce Miller

5 WRs is my guess for how many functioning WRs we keep on the final 53. The question should be asked do we even consider Kassim Osgood in this group or not, I will go ahead and say no. Separate from the Osgood question, the depth for WR should end up –

Crab, Draftee, Patton

Boldin, Lloyd/Draftee/Baldwin

8 total roster spots for the O-line and my guess for the depth chart is as follows –

Center – Kilgore

LG – Mike Iupati, Joe Looney

RG – Alex Boone, Adam Snyder/Draftee/various depth we already have (I am open to the possibility of being surprised)

LOT – Joe Staley

ROT – Anthony Davis, Jonathan Martin/Luke Marquardt

The backup center would probably be Joe Looney or an emergency call to Jonathan Goodwin if we do not draft a solid center prospect, which I think is likely.

3 total TE - V Davis, Vance McDonald, Draftee/UDFA/Celek/Carrier

So, approximately 23 total offensive players.


6 D-lineman

Justin Smith, TJE/Draftee

Ray McDonald, Tank Carradine

Glen Dorsey, Ian Williams

4 OLB – Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier, Dan Skuta/Draftee

4 ILB – Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Nick Moody

6 CB

Chris Culliver, Draftee, Chris Cook

Tramaine Brock, Eric Wright, Darryl Morris

5 Safeties

Eric Reid, CJ Spillman/Draftee

Antoine Bethea, Craig Dahl/Draftee, Bubba Ventrone/Draftee

I don’t think we are going to draft 3 safeties, I think we will draft 1, but I do not know which

one of our current safeties will be cut.

25 total defensive players.

Special Teams

LS – Kevin McDermot

P – Andy Lee

K – Phil Dawson

3 total.

Thoughts on what to do with the last 2 flexible positions:

One idea is to use one of these slots for a 3rd QB; this makes sense if we plan on trading

Gabbert for a draft pick next year. One of these spots will go to Osgood if we do not draft a

rookie corner who can also play ST. I am all for the mindset of you can never have enough

pass rushers, so perhaps we can use it for a D-lineman or OLB, seeing as we already have

plenty of D-line depth. I also think that we may opt to use one of these last roster spots on a

RB or a WR because we could easily lose both Crab and Gore in 2015; we are in future need

of more depth at these two key skill positions, so perhaps we should stockpile them on the


Remaining questions:

How many special team gunners do we need on the 53 man roster, and do we have guys

waiting in the wings to take on a bigger role on special teams?

How long is Bowman out/ will we need to add depth to the position?

Who is the backup center if Kilgore is injured? Do we call up Goodwin in the worst case


What kind of running back are we most likely to add in the draft? Who will we go to in

short yardage situations without Dixon?

Who would the front office want to trade/ which positions would they want to trade away

depth from?

Do yall agree with the amount of each position on the depth chart? Do yall agree with the

projected depth chart in terms of players?

Besides the obvious needs for a WR and a CB, which positions/how many players will the

front office choose to upgrade?

My best guess is besides drafting our two needs we will replace a safety, a tight end, add

another defensive player, a running back, and possibly a wide receiver who can challenge

Lloyd and take his spot. So, between draftees and UDFAs, we should see 4-7 new players

make final 53 the roster. I will officially guess 5 new faces on the 53 roster (not including

Bethea, Cook, Lloyd).

Note – I am optimistic about Bethea, Cook, and Kilgore, so if you feel that we have more of a

need in those positions, that is probably why.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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