Projecting the 49ers 53-man Roster

With three preseason games and training camp in the books, the 49ers will have to narrow their roster from 90 to 75 by Tuesday afternoon. Here, we get a head start and project the team's 53-man roster for the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the Packers.


Colin Kaepernick

Colt McCoy

B.J. Daniels

It seems like the 49ers brought in Seneca Wallace to light a fire under McCoy. It worked, as he played well enough in Sunday night's preseason game for Jim Harbaugh to immediately name him the backup to Kaepernick. Daniels has impressed with his quarterbacking and versatility this summer and should earn the job over the more expensive Wallace.

Running Back

Frank Gore

Kendall Hunter

LaMichael James

Anthony Dixon

Bruce Miller

San Francisco will have one of its deepest running back corps in recent seasons in 2013. It's important to keep in mind James wasn't active last year until after Hunter was out with his Achilles injury and the team still had the No. 3 rushing offense in the NFL with Gore leading the way. The running attack could be even more versatile this season.

Wide Receiver

Anquan Boldin

Kyle Williams

Marlon Moore

Quinton Patton

Jon Baldwin

Kassim Osgood

Osgood's play on special teams might be enough to warrant opening the season with six wideouts on the roster. But he might be on the wrong end of Mario Manningham's return at some point after Week 6. The emergence of Patton and Baldwin's strong showing in Sunday's preseason game bodes well for the unit. Without seeing much time with the first team in exhibition games, Austin Collie is one of the odd men out. Lavelle Hawkins won't make it either, but it's more because of the numbers and less because of his three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties Sunday night.

Tight End

Vernon Davis

Vance McDonald

MarQueis Gray

Gerrett Celek simply hasn't had a very good preseason. He's struggled in run blocking; his primary responsibility. That gives the edge to Gray, who has upside, although he also needs to improve in that area. Don't be surprised to see the 49ers bring in a blocking tight end from outside the organization after cuts are made around the league.

Offensive Line

Joe Staley

Mike Iupati

Jonathan Goodwin

Alex Boone

Anthony Davis

Adam Snyder

Daniel Kilgore

Joe Looney

One of the best units in the league remains intact for 2013, but the team doesn't seem thrilled with the play of Looney so far in his two-year career. With a better option behind him, he might not have made the team.

Defensive Line

Justin Smith

Ray McDonald

Ian Williams

Glenn Dorsey

Demarcus Dobbs

Will Tukuafu

Tony Jerod-Eddie

Normally a team using the 3-4 would have six lineman on the roster, but because of Dobbs' suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy causing him to miss Week 1, Jerod-Eddie will be there to add depth after his solid preseason.

Inside Linebacker

Patrick Willis

NaVorro Bowman

Michael Wilhoite

Nick Moody

There isn't much experience behind the All-Pro tandem of Willis and Bowman, but the 49ers feel comfortable with Wilhoite's progression and like Moody's play on special teams.

Outside Linebacker

Aldon Smith

Ahmad Brooks

Corey Lemonier

Dan Skuta

With the trade of Parys Haralson, the group that projected to start with five players shrinks to four. Cam Johnson might be in the mix here, but team might use that extra spot on the defensive line with Dobbs' suspension for the first game. Johnson might find himself back on the practice squad.


Tarell Brown

Carlos Rogers

Nnamdi Asomugha

Tramaine Brock

Perrish Cox

Nnamdi Asomugha has been a bright spot after his disastrous tenure in Philadelphia. He appears to have a grasp on the third corner spot where he could rotate with Brock depending on the match up. But not having Chris Culliver's athleticism and tenacity could hurt, despite his poor play in the Super Bowl.


Eric Reid

Donte Whitner

Craig Dahl

C.J. Spillman

Bubba Ventrone

Ventrone makes the team because of his play on special teams. Trenton Robinson and Michael Thomas are the odd men out.


Phil Dawson

Andy Lee

Brian Jennings

There's a chance Jennings, the most tenured player on the team, has his spot challenged by rookie longer snapper Kevin McDermott, who would make half Jennings' salary. With all pending contract extensions the 49ers are hoping to sign next year (Kaerpnick, Michael Crabtree, Aldon Smith, Iupati) the team might try to maximize their cap space that will roll over to 2014.

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