San Francisco 49ers: Adam Synder

The San Francisco 49ers added 12 players in the draft (and veteran receiver Stevie Johnson through a trade) during the weekend. The 49ers entered the draft with a stacked roster. Whittling down to the 53-man roster will not be an easy task this summer.

Let’s take a look at positions where veterans who could be in jeopardy of making the roster due to the additions.

Quarterback

Who could be on the bubble? McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Why: Bethel-Thompson finished last year on the practice squad. The 49ers are signing Southern Illinois quarterback Kory Faulkner as an undrafted free agent. The two will likely be battling for a practice squad gig.

Running back

Who could be on the bubble? Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James.

Why: The 49ers drafted Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde in the second round. The 49ers will definitely roll with Frank Gore, Hyde and Marcus Lattimore (if healthy) at tailback. Bruce Miller will be the fullback. That leaves one or two spots. I bet the 49ers find a way to keep the valuable Hunter. But James, who would be open to a trade, could be expendable.

Receiver

Who could be on the bubble? Jon Baldwin, Brandon Lloyd and Kassim Osgood.

Why: Johnson will be the No. 3 receiver and fourth-round pick Bruce Ellington will certainly make the team. The team also likes second-year player Quinton Patton. If the 49ers keep six receivers, Osgood has a good chance to make the team because he is simply awesome on special teams. Baldwin has virtually no chance to make the team and Lloyd, who was signed earlier this offseason, would have to have a tremendous camp to make it.

Offensive line

Who could be on the bubble? Joe Looney and Adam Snyder

Why: The 49ers drafted center Marcus Martin (fellow third-round pick Brandon Thomas will likely be on the PUP all season). That could mean Looney, who played well at guard in a limited role last year, could be in trouble, but I think the 49ers will give him every chance to make the team. Synder could be on the odd man out although the team likes this experience. This could be a position where the 49ers go heavy.

Linebacker

Who could be on the bubble? Nick Moody

Why: The 49ers drafted inside linebacker Chris Borland in the third round and they are expected to add former Stanford standout Shayne Skov on undrafted free agency. Borland will surely make the team. If Skov makes the 53-man roster Moody, a sixth-round pick last year, would have difficulty sticking.

Secondary

Who could be on the bubble? Chris Cook, Eric Wright, Craig Dahl, Bubba Ventrone

Why: This position will likely take some time to develop. The 49ers added three cornerbacks in the draft and first-round safety Jimmie Ward will play nickel. Ward and fourth-round pick Dontae Johnson will definitely make the team. So, a veteran or two may be expendable. Again, this will be a heated camp battle.

San Francisco 49ers injury wire

November, 23, 2013
11/23/13
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – There were no surprises Saturday when the San Francisco 49ers released their injury report for Monday night’s game at Washington.

As expected, guard Mike Iupati (knee), cornerback Tarell Brown (ribs) and receiver Quinton Patton (foot) have been ruled out. Adam Snyder will play for Iupati while Tramaine Brock – who signed a four-year contract extension with the club on Friday – will play for Brown.

Defensive tackle Ray McDonald (ankle) is listed as questionable. He hasn’t played in two weeks and it would be a surprise if he plays Monday. Tony Jerod-Eddie is set to start for a second straight game.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said it would be determined in the next two days if receiver Michael Crabtree, who tore his Achilles in May, will be activated in time for the game. Crabtree still may be a couple weeks away from playing.

Eric Wright gives 49ers boost at CB

November, 19, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Eric Wright made his San Francisco 49ers' debut Sunday and he could see increased playing time moving forward.

Starting cornerback Tarell Brown had to leave the game at New Orleans with a rib injury. He was in extreme discomfort after the game. After the 49ers activated Wright last week, he became the dime cornerback. But because of Wright’s experience, it would not be surprising if the 49ers increase his role with Brown out.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh praised Wright’s play Sunday.

“I thought he had good eyes early in the game,” Harbaugh said. “[He] made a very nice tackle. His coverage was tight. I thought he did good. I thought he did a fine job for his first time out there.”

In other 49ers notes:

Guard Mike Iupati's MCL sprain on his left knee could have been a lot worse. There was early concern that Iupati had a much more serious injury. He will likely miss a couple of games, but the 49ers can deal with it. Adam Snyder, who replaced Iupati on Sunday at New Orleans and Daniel Kilgore can hold the fort for a couple of weeks.

B.J. Daniels will not be returning to the 49ers. Daniels cleared waivers Monday after being cut by the Seahawks and he was signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad. The 49ers cut him earlier this season. They wanted to put him on the practice squad, but the Seahawks claimed him. When the Seahawks cut Daniels -- taken in the seventh round by the 49ers in April -- there was speculation the 49ers would pursue Daniels.

Harbaugh basically blew off a question Monday about backup running back Anthony Dixon expressing frustration on Twitter about a lack of his role. Dixon is a role player. If he wants a bigger role, Harbaugh wants to see him earn it.

Cornerback Perrish Cox, cut last week by the 49ers, had a workout in Seattle. The Seahawks love taking looks at former 49ers.

What losing Iupati would mean

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
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NEW ORLEANS -- The San Francisco 49ers’ offense doesn’t need any more challenges right about now.

Yet, it may be dealt one. The team is awaiting word on the severity of a left knee injury suffered by standout guard Mike Iupati. He was carted off to the locker room during the 49ers’ 23-20 loss at New Orleans on Sunday. He was seen leaving the locker room on crutches and with his knee in a brace.

During the game, Iupati was replaced by Adam Snyder, who will play if Iupati has to miss significant time.

No doubt, the 49ers’ offense is struggling. It has not been able to cross the 200-total yard plateau in two straight games, and it had five three-and-outs Sunday.

I asked ESPN analyst Matt Williamson how damaging he thinks the loss of Iupati would be.

“I wouldn’t say it is one of the worst offensive lines in the league or anything,” Williamson said. “But this offense doesn’t have much room for error and if the run blocking falters, they could be in further trouble.”

The 49ers' offensive line has been strong in run blocking this season, but has struggled some, particularly in the past couple of weeks, in pass protection. Williamson said Iupati hasn’t been up to his usual high standards. Still, if he has to miss major time, the 49ers will likely feel it.

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