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Projecting the 49ers 53-man roster #4

As the preseason rolls along, more and more positional battles are won, meaning more and more folks lock up roster spots. For example, yesterday's release of Damon Huard not only locks in Nate Davis's roster spot, but as far as I'm concerned, it removes him from our last 5 on list. I'd imagine it's not a major concern to Nate, but still worth considering.

As you'll notice, I've bumped down Bear Pascoe to last 5 on. Maiocco rolled out his 53-man roster projection (feel free to compare with mine) and actually went with J.J. Finley as the third tight end. He based his decision on the fact that Finley is getting the lion's share of playing time, although he admitted he's not completely sold on that pick. I can see why he might pick Finley, but for now I'm gonna stick with Bear, albeit rather tenuously. I've listed Finley as one of the first 5 off because honestly nobody else really jumps out at me for that list.

QB (3): Shaun Hill, Alex Smith, Nate Davis
RB (4): Frank Gore, Glen Coffee, Michael Robinson, Kory Sheets
FB (1): Moran Norris
WR (6): Isaac Bruce, Brandon Jones, Josh Morgan, Jason Hill, Arnaz Battle, Dominique Zeigler
TE (3): Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Bear Pascoe
LT (2): Joe Staley, Barry Sims
LG (1): David Baas
C (2): Eric Heitmann, Cody Wallace
RG (2): Chilo Rachal, Tony Wragge
RT (2): Adam Snyder, Alex Boone

DE (5): Justin Smith, Kentwan Balmer, Demetric Evans, Isaac Sopoaga, Ray McDonald
DT (1): Aubrayo Franklin
OLB (4): Manny Lawson, Parys Haralson, Ahmad Brooks, Marques Harris
ILB (4): Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Jeff Ulbrich, Scott McKillop
CB (5): Nate Clements, Dre Bly, Tarell Brown, Shawntae Spencer, Marcus Hudson
FS (2): Dashon Goldson, Mark Roman
SS (2): Michael Lewis, Reggie Smith

Special Teams
K: Joe Nedney
P: Andy Lee
LS: Brian Jennings
KR/PR: Allen Rossum

Last 5 on: Ahmad Brooks, Kory Sheets, Dominique Zeigler, Alex Boone, Bear Pascoe

First 5 off: Jay Moore, J.J. Finley, Curtis Taylor, Ricky Jean-Francois, Micheal Spurlock

After the jump, I include a practice squad projection and some further thoughts...

Practice Squad (8): TE J.J. Finley, OLB Jay Moore, FS Curtis Taylor, DL Ricky Jean-Francois, FB Brit Miller, OLB Diyral Briggs, G/C Matt Spanos, DL Khalif Mitchell

I doubt Crabtree signs when the practice squad is first put together, but if he signs before the season, I'm thinking he gets Zeigler's roster spot and Zeigler gets to use his last year of practice squad eligibility. The Crabtree situation definitely makes the wide receiver decisions a little more difficult...if not now then at some point.

Maiocco's 53-man projection, as compared to my own, is particularly interesting for a couple of reasons. Under running backs he lists six, with the last being "Unnamed Fullback Not on Roster." I find that rather interesting given Michael Robinson's occasional use as a fullback. I'm curious what fullback that is. Lorenzo Neal? Is he considering Brit Miller "not on the roster" at that point? Although fullback isn't a glamorous position, I find myself immensely curious by what Maiocco means with that. I even shot him a tweet about it. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

The other major area where we differed was at offensive tackle. Maiocco had Alex Boone on his practice squad and Barry Sims as the only backup tackle, basically acting as a swing tackle. I know how most people here feel about Barry Sims, and since the retirement of Marvel Smith, I figured Boone had moved into much safer territory. This kind of has me wandering back to his unnamed fullback. Is it necessary to grab another fullback over a second backup offensive tackle? Riddle me that....

Other than that our 53-man rosters don't differ all that much. That is primarily due to the fact that the 49ers are in a position where they have sufficient talent to actually fill a 53-man roster (unlike a few years back). Following the departure of Damon Huard (making Davis a lock), probably 46 of the roster spots are close to locks. Non-locks on top of the last five on might include Marques Harris and Marcus Hudson. So not exactly a lot there.