The 2015 NFL Draft wrapped up less than 48 hours ago, but if we can look at draft grades, you better believe we can put together a 53-man roster projection for the San Francisco 49ers. The team still has rookie minicamp, OTAs, mandatory minicamp, training camp and four preseason games, but consider an initial base-line assessment of the roster.
First up, here is is the full roster as it currently stands. The table lists the 81 current signed or drafted players. Below that is the list of eight undrafted free agents connected to the team. Players or schools announced these signings, but the 49ers have not made them official. And for purposes of our 53-man roster projection, we can safely assume they are long-shots. That might change as we head into training camp and preseason games, but for now, they are on the outside looking in.
QB Colin Kaepernick
RB Carlos Hyde
FB Bruce Miller
WR Anquan Boldin
TE Vernon Davis
OT Joe Staley
OG Alex Boone
C Daniel Kilgore
DL Justin Smith
ILB NaVorro Bowman
OLB Aldon Smith
CB Tramaine Brock
S Eric Reid
K Phil Dawson
P Andy Lee
LS Kyle Nelson
Reported UDFA signings (8): QB Dylan Thompson, OLB Marcus Rush, OL Patrick Miller, WR Dres Anderson, WR Issac Blakeney, WR Darius Davis, WR DiAndre Campbell, WR DeAndrew White
We will be breaking down all of the position groups in a variety of ways through the offseason. It's safe to say that tight end group in particular will be interesting to say the least. The team has eight tight ends on the roster. Two of them are particularly intriguing for a couple reasons. Blake Bell played quarterback for a sizable chunk of his college career, and could very well end up as the team's emergency quarterback. Derek Carrier was converted from wide receiver, and given some of the roster limitations, I do wonder if he see him handle more of a hybrid role.
First and foremost, I am operating under the assumption that Justin Smith is going to retire. That is based just on my own hunch, as opposed to any sort of inside information.
There are a lot of things that we could potentially change in this, and I'm sure people will opine accordingly. Two fullbacks is an oddity in this era of the NFL, but Millard seems like a versatile option that could handle a lot of special teams work, but also potentially do some work as an h-back.
I only have four wide receivers, and one of them is not Quinton Patton. After Boldin, Smith and Ellington (who I think is effectively a lock to make the roster this year), it is all up in the air. Patton has had limited opportunities, but that could also come from the team just not liking what they see in practice. Of course, an entirely new coaching staff could bring entirely new opinions about some of the second and third year youngsters. I only went with four receivers because of the idea that maybe Carrier is split out wide a little more often, effectively being a fifth wide receiver.
The 49ers kept five cornerbacks on their 53-man roster at the end of training camp last year. I have them with six for now, and that is without Chris Cook. I felt Cook looked solid last year before getting hurt, but the numbers game is not in his favor. We know nothing about Reaser, and all we know about Acker was a strong training camp before being placed on injured reserve.
Fooch's update: Patton gets one more shot to correct for only have five corners but saying six.
QB (2): Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert
RB (3): Carlos Hyde, Mike Davis, Reggie Bush
FB (2): Bruce Miller, Trey Millard
WR (5): Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington, Jerome Simpson, Quinton Patton
TE (4): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Blake Bell, Derek Carrier
OT (3): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Erik Pears
OG (3): Alex Boone, Brandon Thomas, Joe Looney
C (2): Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin
DT (7): Darnell Dockett, Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Arik Armstead
OLB (4): Aldon Smith, Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold
ILB (5): NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Phillip Wheeler, Nick Moody, Nick Bellore
CB (5): Tramaine Brock, Shareece Wright, Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser
FS (3): Eric Reid, Craig Dahl, Jimmie Ward
SS (2): Antoine Bethea, Jaquiski Tartt
P (1): Bradley Pinion
K (1): Phil Dawson
LS (1): Kyle Nelson
NFI: WR DeAndre Smelter (ACL), TE Rory Anderson (triceps)
Practice squad candidates: OL Ian Silberman, OL Trenton Brown, OL Dillon Farrell, RB Jarryd Hayne, QB Dylan Thompson, name your favorite random player of choice.