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49ers vs. Chargers preseason 2013: Bubble watch heading into preseason finale

We take a look at the 49ers bubble watch heading into Thursday's preseason finale against the San Diego Chargers. Who is a lock, strong bubble, weak bubble or longshot?

Ezra Shaw

Here we go! The 49ers preseason is almost finished and real football is just around the corner! The 49ers face the San Diego Chargers in their annual finale matchup. The starters are not expected to get a lot of playing time, so this is a chance for the reserves to show what they've got. The team has until 3 p.m. PT on Saturday to cut down to their 53-man roster. Most of the roster spots have likely been determined, but there a few final spots still to be determined.

Why's the final countdown!

I went back through one final time, and this is my last bubble watch before the preseason finale (see our previous bubble watch. I added in a list of players cut, traded and moved to injury lists, so you can see who is not included, and why.

Aside from the cuts, I found myself promoting a couple guys from strong bubble to lock. Adam Snyder and Anthony Dixon are two guys who generate plenty of debate about their status, but I think they've likely done enough, and benefited from other performances enough to lock up roster spots.

Every year, it seems like Anthony Dixon is on the roster bubble, and he continues to hang around. The 49ers continue bringing in running backs, but Dixon continues to show his stuff. After three preseason games, I cannot come up with a strong reason he shouldn't be on the roster. He excels on special teams, and he is showing improvement as a running back and fullback. I'm open to discussion on this, but I just don't see him not making the roster this year.

Adam Snyder is a guy who gets ragged on quite frequently, but have Carter Bykowski or Kenny Wiggins done enough to usurp his role as utility guy? The 49ers let him walk prior to last season because they were not prepared to pay him anywhere near what the Cardinals paid. They got him back cheap this year, and while he is not great in any one particular area, his ability to play all five positions on the offensive line provides some value. If you can make an argument for Wiggins or Bykowski, I'm all ears.

I was considering moving Jon Baldwin to lock, but I'm holding off for now. I think it would be a surprise if he didn't make the roster, but with only one game under his belt, I'm not quite prepared to drop in lock status quite yet.

How do you see the bubble watch?


QB (1): Colin Kaepernick
RB (5): Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Bruce Miller, Anthony Dixon
WR (4): Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Marlon Moore
TE (2): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald
OT (2): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis
OG (3): Alex Boone, Mike IupatiAdam Snyder
C (2): Jonathan Goodwin, Daniel Kilgore

DT (2): Justin Smith, Ray McDonald
NT (2): Ian Williams, Glenn Dorsey
OLB (3): Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier
ILB (2): Patrick Willis, NaVorro BowmanMichael Wilhoite
CB (5): Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Tramaine Brock, Nnamdi Asomugha, Perrish Cox
FS (2): Eric Reid, C.J. Spillman
SS (1): Donte Whitner

P (1): Andy Lee
K (1): Phil Dawson

Strong Bubble

QB: Colt McCoy, B.J. Daniels, Seneca Wallace
WR: Jon Baldwin, Kassim Osgood, Chad Hall
TE: Garrett Celek, MarQueis Gray
OG: Joe Looney

DT: Demarcus Dobbs, Will Tukuafau, Tony Jerod-Eddie
OLB: Dan SkutaCam Johnson
ILB: Nick Moody
FS: Trenton Robinson
SS: Craig Dahl

LOS: Brian Jennings

Weak Bubble

RB: Jewel Hampton
WR: Lavelle HawkinsAustin Collie
OT: Kenny Wiggins, Carter Bykowski

CB: Marcus Cooper, Darryl Morris
FS: Michael Thomas, Raymond Ventrone

LS: Kevin McDermott


RB: Jason Schepler
WR: Chuck Jacobs
OT: Patrick Omameh
OG: Wayne Tribue

NT: Mike Purcell
ILB: Travis Johnson, Nate Stupar, Joe Holland


PUP: WR Michael Crabtree, WR Mario Manningham
NFI: DT Tank Carradine, DT Quinton Dial, RB Marcus Lattimore, OT Luke Marquardt, CB Eric Wright
IR: CB Chris Culliver, WR Brandon Carswell, FB Alex Debniak, LB Darius Fleming
IR revert possible settlement: DT Lawrence Okoye, DT Lamar Divens
Injury SettlementDarcel McBath


RB D.J. Harper, OG Al Netter, P/K Colton Schmidt, QB Scott Tolzien


OLB Parys Haralson