Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The 49ers' roster appears most interesting at running back and receiver.
The more I think about how much the 49ers want to pound the ball on offense, the more I see them keeping two fullbacks on the Week 1 roster.
Zak Keasey's broken forearm prevents him from becoming part of the equation early, and it's tough to see a team waiting two months for a backup fullback to get healthy. Enter Bill Rentmeester. Formerly of the Chargers, Rentmeester offers what preseason touchdown machine Brit Miller does not: experience at fullback. For the sake of this roster exercise, I'll pencil in Rentmeester for Week 1.
The chart provides a framework for how many players the 49ers might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Cardinals.
Here's a quick look at which 49ers players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players (I made one change, moving Cody Wallace into the group of offensive linemen at Joe Toledo's expense):
Projected to miss cut (1) -- Nate Davis
Key issue -- Teams generally keep fifth-round rookie quarterbacks. Davis lands on the practice squad if the 49ers release him.
Projected to miss cut (3) -- Kory Sheets, Zak Keasey, Brit Miller
Key issue -- Keasey's broken forearm could sideline him for two months. That's a long time to wait for a backup fullback. Rentmeester's experience puts him in position to contribute right away, while Miller is a project.
Key issue -- Hill could stand to show more. Zeigler has a chance, but it's tough to earn the final spot at receiver without contributing significantly on special teams. Might the 49ers keep seven while Jones recovers from a shoulder injury and Crabtree gets up to speed, assuming Crabtree signs?
Projected to miss cut (1) -- J.J. Finley
Key issue -- Pascoe fits the mold as a blocking tight end despite rookie struggles through camp.
Key issue --Does Sims have enough left to project as a backup? Smith's health could answer that question. Spanos and Bender might have some versatility.
Key issue -- McDonald's health could be a factor coming off knee surgery. Jean-Francois appears to have some ability. Might he earn a spot?
Key issue -- Brooks' strong camp moves him into position for a roster spot. Moore has also shown more lately.
Key issue -- Rossum counts toward the defensive backs even though he contributes as a return specialist.