I wrote a final 53-man roster projection late last night, but forgot to publish and now it’s irrelevant because the 49ers made several cuts. I kept a lot of what I wrote, because Kevin McDermott was the only player on the cut list that I had on my Projection 2.0, but keeping Nelson changed my mind in several other areas.
List of cuts, so far (Via Matt Barrows and others, updated 12:15 pm Saturday):
- T Carter Bykowski
- TE Asante Cleveland
- LS Kevin McDermott
- G Al Netter
- WR Kassim Osgood
- OL Michael Philipp
- NT Mike Purcell
- LB Shayne Skov
- S C.J. Spillman
- FB Will Tukuafu
- RB Glenn Winston
- Ryan Seymour
- Adam Snyder
- Alfonso Smith
- Michael Philipp
Quarterback (3): Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Josh Johnson
I thought the 49ers would draft a quarterback in 2014. Maybe that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.
Running Back (4): Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, LaMichael James,
I don’t see the 49ers carrying just three halfbacks this soon after LaMichael James dislocated his elbow. Glenn Winston has quickly become a fan favorite, but Smith (who made a special teams tackle on Thursday) is more versatile.
Fullback (1): Bruce Miller
Hi, Bruce. You’re well on your way to becoming a 49ers fan favorite for the rest of your days.
Wide Receiver (5): Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington
I took Kassim Osgood off this projection last night (I swear), but I left Brandon Lloyd off as well. So why am I adding him at 11 am on Saturday? Because the 49ers decided to go with two tight ends and Kyle Nelson, and they’re probably scrambling to figure out how to put up 30+ ppg to make up for the losses of two outstanding defensive players for at least half the season.
Tight End (2): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald
Nelson took McDermott’s job. Celek and Carrier are both injured, and could step in later in the season if need be.
Offensive Line (8): Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Martin,
Adam Snyder, Marcus Martin
Lots of changes here. I’m going to take a leap of faith and assume Martin will be back relatively soon, in large part because David Fucillo informed me in our latest BASGcast that Martin had suffered a dislocated knee in the past. I guess that makes it better, because Martin has magical knees that can dislocate and relocate easier than regular knees. Or maybe I just think he’ll take over the center spot from Daniel Kilgore at some point this season. The 49ers have a few bubble guys — Bykowski (another guy I removed from last night’s projection, not that it matters now), Netter and Ryan Seymour — Seymour could make the final roster, but I’m guessing they’ll see who passes through waivers and add those players to the practice squad.
Update: Seymour and Snyder cut. Looks like Dillon Farrell is making the team.
Defensive Line (7): Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Ian Williams, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Glenn Dorsey
The 49ers are going to put Dorsey on the IR – Designated to Return, but first they need to put him on the 53-man until Tuesday. That kind of threw a wrench in things. Once Dorsey gets moved off the active roster, the 49ers can add the best offensive lineman that made it to their practice squad.
Outside Linebacker (4): Ahmad Brooks, Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier, Aaron Lynch
Aldon Smith’s suspension presents an ENORMOUS opportunity for the guys on this list not named Ahmad Brooks (Brooks was going to play all the time anyway). I was much more impressed with Lemonier this offseason than at any time during his rookie year — Lynch has gotten a ton of attention, but Lemonier is quietly becoming a complete player.
Inside Linebacker (4): Patrick Willis, Michael Wilhoite, Chris Borland, Nick Moody
Borland is going to start at some point very soon. I’d start him in Week 1, but everyone seems to think Wilhoite is a lock to get the nod in Dallas. I have to admit I was skeptical when the pick was made, but Baalke knew what he was doing when he added the little dude out of Wisconsin.
Safety (4): Eric Reid, Antoine Bethea, Jimmie Ward, Craig Dahl
Bye-bye Bubba: I had Bubba Ventrone in my original 53-man, but not anymore. Why? I had a change of heart on Cook, that’s why.
Cornerback (7): Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox, Chris Cook, Dontae Johnson, Darryl Morris, Kenneth Acker
Chris Cook was good throughout training camp, he performed well in the preseason, and he was a chosen in the second round not that long ago. He’s also slightly cheaper than Ventrone. The 49ers have several capable corners but none are truly established as starting, elite players. Plus, they could always Nnamdi one of these guys during the regular season to make room for someone who plays a different position.
Kicker (1): Phil Dawson
Punter (1): Andy Lee
Long Snapper (1): Kyle Nelson
Reserve/Did Not Report: Alex Boone
Suspended: Aldon Smith
PUP: NaVorro Bowman, Garrett Celek, Kaleb Ramsey
NFI: Trey Millard, Brandon Thomas, Keith Reaser, Marcus Lattimore
IR: Kendall Hunter
Practice Squad: S James McCray, DL Lawrence Okoye, OG Ryan Seymour, OLB Chase Thomas, TE Derek Carrier, NT Mike Purcell, OL Carter Bykowski, QB Kory Faulkner, LB Shayne Skov, RB Glenn Winston