The San Francisco 49ers are officially halfway through their 2017 preseason schedule, and have wrapped up their open training camp schedule. There is plenty of evaluation still to be done, but practice is now closed to the media.
Now that we have reached this point, it is time to take a look at where the bubble watch stands. We have not done a formal bubble watch look since late June. We took a look at the potential 53-man roster Monday morning, but for the rest of the week, we will be taking a look at the bubble watch for each position. Today, we start with the defensive line.
Lock: Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Earl Mitchell, Elvis Dumervil
Strong Bubble: Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine, Aaron Lynch, Ronald Blair, Chris Jones, D.J. Jones
Weak Bubble: Pita Taumoepenu
Longshot: Noble Nwachukwu, Leger Douzable
I made four changes compared to the defensive line bubble watch back in June. I bumped Elvis Dumervil to lock, dropped Noble Nwachukwu to longshot and Pita Taumoepenu to weak bubble, and added Leger Douzable as a longshot. I had included the first three in strong bubble at that point because it was too early to say, player X or player Y is clearly out of the running.
After two preseason games, it’s hard for me to see Nwachukwu making the roster. Taumoepenu has a chance, but I think we see the 49ers look to develop him further on the practice squad. He did get his first sack on Saturday, and graded out well at PFF, but he has work to do.
Dumervil has gotten limited work the first two preseason games, and I imagine that is primarily because they know what he is. Dumervil is coming off an Achilles injury, and while reports have been positive, his health remains a question mark at this stage of his career. I suppose I could be jumping the gun with him as a lock, but I think it’s pretty much settled.
The strong bubble remains a hodge-podge of options. I imagine no more than four of those six make the roster. My 53-man projection has Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine, Aaron Lynch, and D.J. Jones, but there is plenty of room for that to change. Carradine and Lynch both seem like they might be just about locked in, but I want to give it one more week.