San Francisco 49ers: Garrett Celek

Examining the San Francisco 49ers' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Because of heavy competition elsewhere, the 49ers will likely only carry two quarterbacks. They finished last season that way. The competition will be to see if undrafted rookie Kory Faulkner can take McLeod Bethel-Thompson's spot on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

The fact that the 49ers drafted Hyde in the second round and Lattimore is healthy means some tough decisions will have to be made. Hunter is too valuable to let go. That means 2012 second-round pick LaMichael James will have difficulty making the roster.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

The 49ers are so much deeper here this year than last. That means they will likely have to keep six receivers. Lloyd may look good and Patton has too much potential to give up on. That means it could be tough for Kassim Osgood to make it even though he is a special teams cog.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

If Davis ends his holdout, I can't see the 49ers keeping more than three tight ends because of the glut at receiver. Unless Garrett Celek has a big camp, he may be in trouble. Carrier intrigues the 49ers because of his size and speed.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

Assuming Boone ends his holdout, this is a pretty nice group of eight players. It's improved from last year. A solid veteran like Adam Snyder and a promising youngster like Ryan Seymour will have trouble making the team.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

This is another power spot. It's deep. Players like Jerod-Eddie and Dial are too valuable to cut. Ramsey has looked good and I have a hunch the 49ers may like him too much to expose him to the waiver wire. That means Demarcus Dobbs could be in trouble.

LINEBACKERS (7)

Most teams carry six linebackers but the 49ers are stacked here, especially with NaVorro Bowman out for about half the season. Because fifth-round pick Lynch is promising he should make the roster. Dan Skuta is an excellent player, but there might not be any room for him. I could see him being one of those later-summer Trent Baalke trade specials because he has value.

CORNERBACKS (5)

This unit is in flux, but I see Johnson making it. Don't be surprised if there is some in-camp jockeying as the 49ers look for the best mix.

SAFETIES (5)

Ward, the 49ers' first-round pick, will play nickel cornerback as a rookie, but projects long term as a safety. Ventrone and Spillman should stick because they are great on special teams. Craig Dahl could be in trouble.

SPECIALISTS (3):

This group is set and it's excellent.
Much has been made about the Seattle Seahawks building their Super Bowl-winning roster on the power of undrafted free agents. Seattle had 21 undrafted free agents on their 53-man roster.

The Seahawks’ biggest competitor, the San Francisco 49ers, also have built their roster with the help of undrafted free agents. The 49ers ended the season with 16 of their 53 players being players who entered the league after not being drafted. They also have defensive tackle Ian Williams, who was on the injured reserve, as an undrafted player in their program.

Let’s take a look at the 17 San Francisco players who were not drafted:

Guard Alex Boone
Cornerback Tramaine Brock
Tight end Derek Carrier (originally signed by Oakland)
Tight end Garrett Celek
Safety Craig Dahl (Giants)
Kicker Phil Dawson (Oakland)
Defensive tackle DeMarcus Dobbs
Defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie
Long-snapper Kevin McDermott
Cornerback Darryl Morris
Receiver Kassim Osgood (San Diego)
Linebacker Dan Skuta (Cincinnati)
Safety C.J. Spillman (San Diego)
Fullback Will Tukuafu (Seattle)
Safety Bubba Ventrone (New England)
Linebacker Michael Wilhoite
Defensive tackle Ian Williams

49ers rankings: 51-55

February, 4, 2014
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We are taking a look at the top 60 players in the San Francisco 49ers' program and will rank them from 1-60. We are going to take a look in a 12-part series, moving upward. The ranking considerations are based on 2013 production, future projections, age, and contract status:

51. Defensive lineman Quinton Dial: The fifth-round pick from Alabama basically sat and watched in 2013. But the team is very high on him. He has big potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a huge move up this list next year.

52. Cornerback Eric Wright: The 49ers had high hopes for Wright when he signed in August. But he didn’t play as much as expected when he was activated in the second half of the season. He finished the season on the inactive list. He likely won’t be a priority in free agency.

53. Guard Daniel Kilgore: Young versatile guard has a chance to develop. With Mike Iupati a free agent at the end of the year, Kilgore’s development could be paramount.

54. Tight end Garrett Celek: He was the No. 3 tight end for much of the season. He needs to further develop as a receiver and as a blocker. He will fight for job again in training camp.

55. Wide receiver Mario Manningham: The oft-injured receiver was severely hampered by injuries in 2013. When healthy, Manningham is capable, but it’s likely the 49ers will look to get younger and better at receiver before thinking about re-signing Manningham.

Joe Staley is active for 49ers

December, 8, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As expected, standout left tackle Joe Staley is active and slated to start for the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Staley
Staley sprained his right knee early against the Rams last week and he did not return. It was initially believed Staley would miss a couple of games. But Staley practiced Thursday and Friday and said Friday he would play.

Left guard Mike Iupati is out again, however. It’s the third straight game he'll miss due to a sprained knee. Adam Snyder continues to play in his place.

Rookie receiver Quinton Patton continues to be inactive. He hasn’t played since he broke his foot in Week 4. Patton is now healthy, but with the 49ers’ veteran receivers all healthy, there is no room for Patton.

Tight end Garrett Celek is healthy after missing a few games with a hamstring injury, but he remains inactive. Derek Carrier, promoted from the practice squad last month, has apparently bypassed him on the depth chart.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Wide receiver Michael Crabtree practiced Thursday as the San Francisco 49ers began to work in earnest ahead of Monday night’s game at Washington.

Crabtree
It is not out of the question that Crabtree is activated in time for Monday’s game, but it appears to be a long shot. Crabtree, who tore his Achilles in May, must be activated by Tuesday or be shelved for the rest of the season. The 49ers plan on activating Crabtree, even though he may not be ready to play right away.

By all accounts, Crabtree is making strides, but the team doesn’t not want to rush him to the field. The 49ers want him at full strength for the final few weeks of the season.

Meanwhile, there were no big practice surprises Thursday. Guard Mike Iupati (knee sprain), cornerback Tarell Brown (ribs), defensive tackle Ray McDonald (ankle) and tight end Garrett Celek (hamstring) did not practice. They are all not expected to play Monday.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick appeared on the injury list with an undisclosed back issue, but he practiced fully. It is not expected to be a problem.

Meanwhile, coach Jim Harbaugh said rookie receiver Quinton Patton should be returning to practice soon and is expected to play again this season. He’s been out since Week 4 with a broken foot.

Vernon Davis, Eric Reid are active

November, 17, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS -- As expected, star tight end Vernon Davis and standout rookie safety Eric Reid have been cleared to play Sunday at New Orleans.

Both players suffered concussions last week against Carolina. They both quickly recovered and showed strong progress through the week.

The 49ers need both players. Davis has been the catalyst to the offense. Reid has been outstanding all season and he will be needed against the pass-happy Saints.

Meanwhile, Demarcus Dobbs will start for defensive tackle Ray McDonald, who is out with a high left ankle sprain. Dobbs will rotate with Tony Jerod-Eddie.

Rookie defensive tackle Tank Carradine is inactive. He has been on the 53-man roster for two games but he hasn’t played yet. As expected, tight end Derek Carrier is active. He was promoted from the practice squad Sunday. Tight end Garrett Celek is out with a hamstring injury. Carrier will play in some alignments.

Derek Carrier gets his chance

November, 16, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS – We will see Sunday if Derek Carrier is ready to be the San Francisco 49ers’ new Swiss Army knife.

The 49ers promoted Carrier from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Third tight end Garrett Celek is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Starter Vernon Davis hasn’t yet been cleared to play against the New Orleans Saints, although he is expected to.

Expect Carrier to play Sunday. The team wouldn’t have promoted him if it weren't planning to play him. It will be Carrier’s NFL debut. He was with Oakland in training camp in 2012 and spent last year on the Eagles’ practice squad.

Carrier was a small-school star at Beloit College. He is highly athletic and he has good hands. Last week, I wrote that the 49ers were hoping he develops into a Delanie Walker-like weapon. Now, he is getting his chance.

Meanwhile, Seattle cut quarterback B.J. Daniels. He was a seventh-round pick of the 49ers, and they cut him earlier this season. If he goes through waivers, perhaps the 49ers will try to have him take Carrier’s spot on the practice squad.

Davis, Reid on pace to play

November, 15, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A final decision will likely be made Sunday, but it appears the San Francisco 49ers will have star tight end Vernon Davis and standout rookie safety Eric Reid on Sunday in New Orleans.

Both players had to leave last week’s game against Carolina with concussions. But they are symptom-free, and barring a setback will play Sunday. They had a contact test Friday.

Davis
Both will be greatly needed. Davis has made the 49ers’ offense go this season, and Reid will be needed against the pass-happy Saints.

The 49ers will, though, be without defensive tackle Ryan McDonald. He’s been ruled out with a high ankle injury. It’s been expected he’d miss the game all week. Tony Jerod-Eddie -- who has played well this season -- will start for McDonald.

Receiver Mario Manningham is listed as questionable with a knee injury. He was limited in practice all week, but offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday that Manningham is fine. He made his season debut last week. He had been out since December with a knee injury.

Fellow receiver Michael Crabtree practiced Friday after not practicing the past two days. But he did a lot of work both days, coach Jim Harbaugh said. Crabtree is on pace to be activated to the 53-man roster by Nov. 26. He suffered a torn Achilles in May.

Harbaugh said running back Marcus Lattimore will begin practicing next week. He is not expected to play until next season. Lattimore is a fourth-round pick who suffered a major knee injury at South Carolina last fall.

Tight end Garrett Celek is doubtful with a hamstring injury. The 49ers have an open roster spot. There is a good chance they promote tight end Derek Carrier from the practice squad Saturday. If so, it wouldn’t a be shock if Carrier is active, because the 49ers will want three tight ends.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers' defense has evolved this season.

In the recent past, the 49ers were famous for not rotating many players on defense. But injuries have given several young players a chance to play. The youngsters have helped keep up San Francisco’s strong standard of defense; the unit has not slipped despite the infusion of youth.

Jerod-Eddie
One of those players is defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie. And it's likely he will get another chance to make a contribution Sunday against New Orleans.

It appears Ray McDonald will not play because of a high left-ankle sprain. McDonald is a big part of the 49ers’ defense, but Jerod-Eddie has played well. He and Demarcus Dobbs spelled McDonald when he was hurt early against Carolina on Sunday. Jerod-Eddie also played when Glenn Dorsey was hurt earlier in the season and didn’t let the overall line play dip.

The 49ers expect the same thing to happen Sunday with McDonald likely out.

In other notes:
  • The cuts of Kyle Williams and Perrish Cox may bode well for special-teamer Kassim Osgood. He was a surprise inactive player Sunday, but the fact that two players were cut Tuesday that were active Sunday shows that the 49ers still have plans for Osgood.
  • Williams and Cox were the backup punt returners. Now cornerbacks Eric Wright and Tarell Brown will backup LaMichael James on punts. Williams was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs, who had the 32nd and final claiming priority. If they didn’t claim him, Williams would have become a free agent. Williams joins former teammates Alex Smith and A.J. Jenkins in Kansas City. Cox went unclaimed.
  • The 49ers are practicing with 52 players on the active roster. Coach Jim Harbaugh said a decision will be made later in the week. Derek Carrier remains a candidate to be promoted from the practice squad if Garrett Celek can’t play because of a hamstring injury.
  • Running back Marcus Lattimore said Wednesday he still hopes to get on the field. Next week is the last week Lattimore can begin practicing. He is not expected to play until next season, having suffered a dislocated right kneecap and three torn knee ligaments.

49ers' injury wire

November, 13, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As expected, star tight end Vernon Davis and rookie safety Eric Reid practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

Both were wearing non-contact jerseys after suffering concussions in a loss against Carolina. Both players were symptom free Wednesday, but will have to continue to pass league concussion protocols before being cleared to play Sunday at New Orleans. Both appear to be on track, however.

It does not look like defensive tackle Ray McDonald is going to play Sunday. He has a high left ankle sprain and he was in a walking boot Wednesday. He did not practice. Defensive lineman Justin Smith (shoulder) didn’t practice, but he’s taken most Wednesdays off this season. Tight end Garrett Celek has a hamstring injury, and didn't practice. His availability will be determined later in the week.

Linebacker Dan Skuta was limited. He had his foot in a walking boot earlier in the week. Mario Manningham was limited by a knee injury. He made his season debut last week after suffering a knee injury. He wasn’t on the injury report last week. It is unknown if this injury is related.

Michael Crabtree was not spotted on the field during the short window the media is on the field. Crabtree has to be activated by Nov. 26 or shelved for the season. He tore his Achilles in May. Earlier Wednesday, coach Jim Harbaugh said “we’ll see” when asked if Crabtree will be activated this week. He said the team is encouraged by his work in practice.

49ers could add a tight end

November, 11, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t offer much in the form of updates Monday on the concussions suffered by star tight end Vernon Davis and standout rookie safety Eric Reid in a 10-9 home loss to Carolina on Sunday.

Harbaugh did say the thought of adding a tight end to the roster for Sunday’s game at New Orleans is an “option.” In addition to Davis, backup tight end Garrett Celek left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. It is likely he will be out longer than Davis, even if Davis can’t play at New Orleans.

The first option the 49ers look at could be Derek Carrier, who is on the team’s practice squad. The highly athletic Carrier is on his third NFL practice squad since entering the league in 2012. He has no NFL game experience.

Both Davis and Reid will go through the NFL’s concussion protocol before being able to play. Reid’s situation is complicated because this is his second concussion of the season. He suffered one in Week 2 against Seattle, so his return could be delayed some. Craig Dahl finished the game for Reid.

Meanwhile, asked Monday if receiver Michael Crabtree could be activated this week, Harbaugh said, “We’ll see.” Crabtree began to practice last week. He must be activated by Nov. 26. Playing Sunday at New Orleans would be considered a long shot.

However, Harbaugh said he anticipates rookie linebacker Nick Moody will be activated this week. So, if the 49ers activate Moody and add a tight end, two players will have to be removed from the roster. It will be interesting to see what the 49ers do with special- teamer Kassim Osgood, who is on his second stint with the 49ers this season. He was inactive Sunday, and the special-teams coverage units appeared to miss him.

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