Monday, August 27, 2012
Where 49ers stand after cuts to 75
By Mike Sando
The San Francisco 49ers removed 12 players from their roster without a surprise Monday.
The moves brought the team into compliance with the NFL's 75-man roster deadline.
The more interesting decisions will come Friday, when teams must reduce to 53 players.
The 49ers did release rookie sixth-round offensive lineman Jason Slowey. San Francisco appears to go nine deep at the position if Joe Looney, Daniel Kilgore, Mike Person and Leonard Davis join the five starters on the initial 53.
I'm interested in seeing what happens at tight end, where the team can conceivably get away with keeping only two players, provided defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs sticks on the roster. Dobbs' ability to play tight end could make it tougher for Konrad Reuland to earn a roster spot.
The 49ers have able receiving tight ends in Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. They could use additional blockers at the position. Several players, including Dobbs and even Davis, could serve in that role.
Keeping seven defensive linemen could make sense as well. Will Tukuafu and Isaac Sopoaga are among those with the ability to play fullback in power sets. Their versatility could impact either Rock Cartwright or recently converted fullback Anthony Dixon, two players with value on special teams.
Safety is another position to watch. C.J. Spillman and Colin Jones have obvious value on special teams. Trenton Robinson, a rookie sixth-round choice, has a chance at sticking as the fifth safety.
I'm curious to see if the 49ers keep seven linebackers, one fewer than last season. Eric Bakhtiari would have a hard time earning a roster spot under that scenario. But if it meant keeping an additional defensive lineman, the team would have enviable depth at a position where the team is exceptionally strong, but also has the NFL's oldest projected starters by average age.
All things to consider for a team with talent throughout its roster and some difficult decisions ahead.