Each year, we like to run a series of posts called "90-in-90." The idea is that we'll take a look at every player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few ways. This roster will certainly change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not exactly 90 players in 90 days. At this point, it's a name we're keeping around for street cred.
Let me start off with this: I was disappointed to see Glenn Dorsey play as much as he did with the San Francisco 49ers last season. That has nothing to do with me thinking Dorsey isn't good, disliking Dorsey or any combination of the two. That's solely because I'm a big fan of Ian Williams, and to see him get knocked out for the course of the season in Week 2 thanks to a dirty play by the Seattle Seahawks (imagine that) was incredibly disheartening.
Williams seemed prepped to take the majority of the snaps from Dorsey, a free-agent pickup who was expected to rotate in whenever needed, but not start. When Williams went down, Dorsey did take over the primary duties at nose tackle, however, and actually played pretty well, I thought.
There was never a point in which I didn't expect Dorsey to play well. I thought he was one of those guys that simply needed a change of scenery and his level of play seemed to reflect that. After underwhelming and underachieving in Kansas City, his 2013 campaign was just solid all-around.
Dorsey ate up space well and he made plenty more tackles than expected of a player from his position. While the 49ers credited him with over 80 tackles, ESPN gives him 41 combined. They list him as picking up six tackles against the St. Louis Rams the second time around, though I personally watched that game recently and had him down as being in on nine of them. Of course, the 49ers put him down for 13 in that game -- so they're not the most reliable stat.
But it is plenty of confirmation that Dorsey is very active for a nose tackle. He wasn't insanely good and he isn't like to make a Pro Bowl any time soon, but Dorsey was above average for certain and I'm willing to bet Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman were happy to have him in front of them.
Why he might improve:
It all depends on the health of Williams at this point. If he's ready to go, then Dorsey may end up falling behind Williams again, but if there's doubts, Dorsey could be the guy in charge again. Another offseason in this system can only help, and he's not exactly ancient at this point. If he's in-line to get significant snaps, I'd definitely expect him to improve upon his game.
Why he might regress:
Dorsey is regarded as a bust due to the fact that he was the fifth overall pick in 2008. Again, he's not old, but he'll be 29 when the regular season gets underway. It's also possible that he simply doesn't get a chance to play a lot for the reasons specified. More play without NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith could also his hurt his on-the-field product.
Odds of making the roster:
Dorsey is a dependable veteran who can start if needed, and the front-runner for said starting gig. He'll make the roster unless the 49ers find a mess of defensive linemen under the rug. He's not going anywhere.