ESPN is spending this new week taking a look at the 32 teams and their potential 53-man rosters. They had a different writer look at each team and project out how the roster will look when final cuts arrive. It’s safe to say the San Francisco 49ers projection is not going to happen.
It is likely that none of the projections will be 100 percent accurate, but the 49ers in particular has some serious issues. There are always going to be arguments over certain players, but this ESPN projection goes beyond your basic question marks. As it currently stands, the following veterans are not included on the 53-man roster projection:
RB Mike Davis
WR DeAndre Smelter
TE Blake Bell
OLB Tank Carradine
LS Kyle Nelson
The following rookies did not make the projection:
QB Jeff Driskel
WR Aaron Burbridge
OT Fahn Cooper
DL Ronald Blair
CB Rashard Robinson
The first issue of course is the roster does not include a long-snapper. That’s a clear miss. The absence of Smelter and Bell is odd as well. Smelter did not play last season, but all indications are that his ACL is fully recovered. Bell is still learning the tight end role, having only moved to it his senior year of college. But does anybody actually see them not making the roster? I suppose Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke could decide one or both are not a fit for the offense, but for mid-June, it seems way too early to assume that.
There are already people making arguments against Mike Davis and/or Tank Carradine earning roster spots. Davis is only a second year player, while Tank is finally getting a chance to do what he does best. There’s no guarantees for either, but I just don’t see them off the roster. And given the absence of Nelson, Smelter, and Bell, it’s not like we can give the author the benefit of the doubt.
And then there’s the draft picks. I think most people would agree that it is unlikely every pick makes the team. But it seems too early to say Rashard Robinson and Ronald Blair are not making the roster. Especially with Robinson getting some praise through the offseason workout program. Again, people will make arguments against later round picks, but I find it hard to see Robinson off the roster come September.
I tweeted at an account that appears to belong to the author, although I’m not 100 percent certain. ESPN’s 49ers coverage was handled by Paul Gutierrez until recently. He is back covering the Oakland Raiders (he previously covered them for CSN Bay Area), so the site is looking for a new 49ers blogger. I don’t know yet if the guy who wrote up the 49ers projections will have the job full-time, but I would think we’ll know sometime before training camp.