Roided out rosters: Early 49ers edition
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Our suggested 49ers roster matched the actual 49ers roster with a couple of exceptions.
I had the team keeping Ashley Lelie as the sixth receiver. The team cut Lelie, keeping only five at the position.
I also saved a roster spot for linebacker Larry Grant, pending news about Parys Haralson's shoulder injury. That injury apparently wasn't serious enough to necessitate a roster move at this time. Haralson stays. Grant projects to the practice squad, most likely.
Cutting a receiver allowed the 49ers to keep an extra defensive back. I had them cutting Marcus Hudson in favor of Keith Lewis. The 49ers kept both.
The numbers at defensive back do not include return specialist Allen Rossum. The NFL lists him as a cornerback. Rossum could help at that position in a pinch, but return specialist is his primary role. He is also listed at cornerback in our updated roided-out rosters (I'll update these throughout the day as cuts come in).
Full position-by-position look at the roster below:
- Keepers (3) -- J.T. O'Sullivan, Alex Smith, Shaun Hill
- Missed cut (0) -- None
- Key issue --Is O'Sullivan more than a stopgap starter to open the season? Is Smith finished in San Francisco?
- Keepers (4) -- Frank Gore, Zak Keasey, DeShaun Foster, Michael Robinson
- Missed cut (2) -- Moran Norris, Thomas Clayton
- Key issue -- Offensive coordinator Mike Martz likes to throw the ball. Gore averaged better than 4 yards a carry in 2007 despite playing for one of the worst offenses in league history. Will Gore remain the focal point?
- Keepers (5) -- Arnaz Battle, Isaac Bruce, Jason Hill, Bryant Johnson, Josh Morgan
- Missed cut (5) -- Dominique Zeigler, Cam Colvin, Robert Ortiz, Ashley Lelie, Jerard Rabb
- Key issue -- Keeping six instead of five makes sense given injuries and what Martz's system demands from receivers.
- Keepers (3) -- Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Bill Bajema
- Missed cut (1) -- J.J. Finley
- Key issue -- Walker's 101-yard return Friday night demonstrated what the 49ers already knew: Walker is more than your typical backup tight end. Davis has the first-round pedigree, but Walker is highly valued.
- Keepers (9) -- David Baas, Eric Heitmann, Jonas Jennings, Chilo Rachal, Barry Sims, Adam Snyder, Joe Staley, Cody Wallace, Tony Wragge
- Missed cut (4) --Brian de la Puente, Chris Patrick, Alan Reuber, Joe Toledo
- Key issue -- Jennings' injury history makes him a potential liabilty at right tackle. I won't be surprised if Barry Sims starts more games this season. Wragge, a fighter, has probably won the job at right guard after Baas suffered a pectoral injury. I wonder if the 49ers will miss Justin Smiley as a candidate to play left guard.
- Keepers (5) --Kentwan Balmer, Ron Fields, Aubrayo Franklin, Ray McDonald, Isaac Sopoaga
- Missed cut (4) -- Walter Curry, Atiyyah Ellison, Louis Holmes, LaJuan Ramsey
- Key issue -- The numbers are low at this position because Justin Smith projects at weak outside linebacker. Fields and Franklin suffered injuries Friday night. Neither injury appeared serious, but we don't know for certain yet.
- Keepers (9) -- Tully Banta-Cain, Roderick Green, Manny Lawson, Justin Smith, Takeo Spikes, Dontarrious Thomas, Jeff Ulbrich, Patrick Willis, Parys Haralson
- Missed cut (3) -- Dennis Haley, Jay Moore (injured reserve), Larry Grant
- Key issue -- Lawson's return from reconstructive knee surgery is a key variable. Watch to see if he gains confidence and becomes a difference-maker by October.
- Keepers (11) -- Nate Clements, Dashon Goldson, Walt Harris, Keith Lewis, Michael Lewis, Mark Roman, Tarell Brown, Reggie Smith, Marcus Hudson, Shawntae Spencer, Donald Strickland
- Projected to miss cut (2) -- Markus Curry, D.J. Parker
- Key issue --The 49ers like their depth here. Lewis or Hudson? Hudson could stick around, but adding Reggie Smith in the draft might not help his chances. Lewis is more of an in-the-box safety.