The significance of the third preseason game goes beyond the extended play of the starters. I'll get into some more game breakdown later this afternoon, but I thought a quick look at the roster would be useful. Next Monday, August 26, is the deadline for teams to cut their rosters down from 81 players to 75 players. That is rather quickly followed by the August 30th deadline of cutting down to 53 players.
Back in early June I put together a practice squad projection. The actual 8-man practice squad I came up with was pretty much guesswork. However, the process I used to whittle down the spots was rather helpful for purposes of looking at the approaching cutdown dates. I came up with three groups: 1) Ineligible for the practice squad, so on the bubble of making the 53-man roster or being cut; 2) Eligible for the practice squad but somewhat of a chance of making the 53-man roster, so on the bubble of making the 53-man or practice squad; and 3) eligible for the practice squad, but slim to no chance of making the 53-man roster, so on the bubble between the practice squad and being cut.
I thought I'd update that as a way of working out the first six to be cut, and next week, the remaining 22 to be cut.
FB Zak Keasey, FB Moran Norris, WR Ashley Lelie OT Alan Reuber, LB Roderick Green, LB Dennis Haley, DE Atiyyah Ellison, DB Marcus Hudson, DB Markus Curry, TE Cooper Wallace, DT Walter Curry, DE LaJuan Ramsey
2. 53-man/Practice Squad
LB Jay Moore, RB Thomas Clayton, DT Joe Cohen, WR Dominique Zeigler
3. Practice Squad/Cut
QB Kyle Wright, WR Cam Colvin, LB Shaun Richardson, S D.J. Parker, S Lewis Baker, WR Jerard Rabb, G Brian De La Puente, DE Louis Holmes, G John Booker, TE J.J. Finley, P Ricky Schmitt, WR Robert Ortiz, OT Ramiro Pruneda
I included both Keasey and Moran Norris on the 53-man/Cut list because I can't figure out what the 49ers are going to do at the full back position. Based on my projections, if they only keep one of the two, there would be 1 roster spot left, which would go to one player in the above groups.
In trying to figure out the first six players to be cut, I'm curious how the practice squad plays into it. Would you be more likely to cut someone with no practice squad eligibility because you want a few more days of practice to see if the PS-eligible is worthy of the practice squad? Or maybe I'm over-thinking it.
I think Cooper Wallace is a definite first cut as he has no PS eligibility and is at a position where has absolutely no hope of making the roster. I think Markus and Walter Curry both fit this mold. Would the team keep P/K Ricky Schmitt for the practice squad, or give him a few extra days to latch on somewhere else? Robert Ortiz only made the roster after Robert Jordan left to deal with a death in the family. I'd like to see Jordan return and make the practice squad. OT Ramiro Pruneda is part of the international practice squad program but he has been a DNP in all three games. Unless there are rules about him finishing training camp, I'd imagine he gets cut sooner, rather than later.
Just like that I've come up with six guys. So I suppose you can consider that my prediction for next Monday. This is about as productive as the practice squad projection, but what the heck, right?