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49ers 2012 Roster: Way Too Early Projection v1.0

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So the 2012 NFL Draft has come and gone and the team has rounded out it's training-camp roster with undrafted free-agents (UDFA's). We know what they've invested in each player on the team from a monetary and draft-pick standpoint...the only logical thing to do next is to project the final 53-man roster.

It's a right of passage this time of year. In the list of things we have to do as football fans between the Superbowl and the following season kicking off, it has it's place. We'll certainly do even more of it as the lull before camp arrives in July.

Personally I just can't wait to do this, though. This year it's particularly juicy due to the talent on the team...well, there's just so much of it. No matter who makes the roster there will be players who don't that will certainly be scooped-up and probably remain on another team's active roster for much of the season.

There are just not enough openings on a talented team who is returning most of it's starters from a previous season that saw them nearly go to the Super Bowl.

After the jump, let's get right into it.

I can't say with complete confidence that this is how things will shake-out. There could be injuries or on-field developments that change some of these spots, but I think it's a pretty logical place to start.

You can swap some of the bottom-rung guys at a few positions like WR and CB but the bottom line is those are difficult positions to predict. If you find yourself saying, "There's no way Player X doesn't make it!" well, go ahead and drop someone else in their favor and justify it in the comments.

Here is what I came up with:


Alex Smith

Colin Kapernick

Josh Johnson


Frank Gore

Kendall Hunter

LaMichael James


Bruce Miller


Vernon Davis

Delanie Walker

Nate Byham


Joe Staley

Anthony Davis

Alex Boone


Mike Iupati

Daniel Kilgore

Joe Looney


Jonathan Goodwin

Jason Slowey


Michael Crabtree

Mario Manningham

Randy Moss

A.J. Jenkins

Kyle Williams

Ted Ginn


Ray McDonald

Isaac Sopoaga

Justin Smith

DeMarcus Dobbs

Will Tukuafu

Ian Williams

R. Jean-Francois


Ahmad Brooks

Aldon Smith

Parys Haralson

Cam Johnson


Patrick Willis

NaVorro Bowman

Tavares Gooden

Larry Grant


Carlos Rogers

Tarell Brown

Chris Culliver

Tramaine Brock

Curtis Holcomb


Dashon Goldson

Donte Whitner

C.J. Spillman

Mark LeGree


Darius Fleming

Colin Jones


Brian Jennings


David Akers


Andy Lee


QB - Tolzien

CB - Nelms

OG - Person

OC - Beeler

WR - Owusu

S - Robinson

TE - Reuland

CB - Cox

WR - Swain

WR - Hastings

RB - Jacobs

Some will be quick to say, "Trenton Robinson was a draft pick! There's no way he doesn't make the roster!" Chill...he was a 6th round pick at a position where we need the best damn players we can get with the possibility of Goldson leaving next off-season.

You can't just draft a rookie FS next year and plug him in. We don't know that Spillman can play in coverage well, yet, either. I have LeGree edging Robinson out because he's been with the team longer, even if only by a few months, and has been in the NFL for a season now.

The speed of the game is something that worries me with Robinson. Watch his tape and you'll see him get caught flat-footed at times or lost in coverage. Sure, maybe he plays special does ace Colin Jones, though. Robinson could end up on the practice squad (PS).

Owusu could potentially make it over Kyle Williams but I doubt he can upstage the third-year player as a rookie. Forget the punt-return issues...I doubt the team lets anyone but Ginn touch punts this year and his backups will be practicing a whole lot more than they did last year, guarantee. Plus, I don't think Williams is always going to respond that way. It was just a really crappy couple of plays.

Person is another one who's hard to leave off. It's a toss-up if he makes it over Looney or Slowey. I was thinking with Looney's Lisfranc injury history it's possible he ends up on the PUP or IR, making room for Person at least in the interim. Or maybe one of the aforementioned rookies doesn't make the squad. Looney was a fourth rounder, though...that's a relatively high pick to cut coming out of camp.

I'd like to see the Stanford safety challenge for a spot, too. And maybe he's the one who usurps LeGree...that spot is really wide open right now. Or would the team carry four safeties including Jones and no more? I suppose it depends on where Jones is as a defensive player. He lined up at WR about as much as he did safety last season.

Lastly, I intentionally left-off Rock Cartwright. He doesn't bring anything but special teams to the mix and is on a one-year deal. There's no room for him at RB with the talent stocked there, so I don't think he has enough value.

So fire away but justify your hatred and make the numbers balance. It does no good to say such-and-such should/shouldn't make it if you don't provide an alternative.