Every year it seems like there is at least one or two surprising players that are included on or excluded from the 49ers 53-man roster. We ran a post last year discussing this very issue and I thought it would be fun to discuss it again this year with training camp officially underway.
As I mentioned last year, certain players develop a cult-like following and fans buy into that particular player for reasons that go beyond the skills he brings to the table. Past players like this have included Jay Moore (my guy), Thomas Clayton, and the perpetual inclusion of Dominique Zeigler.
In looking at the roster this year, there is a considerably greater amount of depth across the board, which means some favorites won't be sticking around. Given the depth, I wonder how many truly big surprises there could be. Is there anybody that has officially grabbed the reins as a guy that people really would be surprised to see not make the final cut?
As always, we're not talking about guys like Alex Smith, Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, Justin Smith, etc. This is a question of players that truly are closer to the bubble, but might seem far enough off one way or the other to create a legitimate level of surprise.
While many might disagree, Brit Miller would seem to be such a guy. Given Moran Norris' advancing age and struggles in recent seasons, I'd imagine a lot of folks would be surprised and even a bit annoyed if he didn't make the roster. Do many folks even consider him on the bubble at this point? I personally think he is, but I'm sure there are some folks that feel otherwise.
However, we've beaten the Brit Miller discussion to death. Let's try and explore the studio space a bit, and get more creative. So, let's move past guys like Miller and Zeigler, and focus in on some other folks. Given all the battles on the offensive line, would seeing Adam Snyder get cut surprise anybody? I don't think he's going anywhere because, while he has struggled at times, he does bring some solid G/T versatility. Accordingly, consider him a guy I would be mildly surprised to see cut.
If we look at the safety position, reports have Taylor Mays moving from third string to second string after a day of practice, so he's clearly making up ground. If he were to excel at a particularly high level, could Michael Lewis become a roster victim? He'd quality as a surprise cut, but I can't say I'd be 100% surprised. I think the team needs his veteran presence, and I don't see Mays surpassing him this training camp. But, crazier things have happened.
So what players qualify in these categories for you?