San Francisco 49ers: Marcus Martin

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.
Now that the offseason portion of the year is over, let's take a look where each of the San Francisco 49ers' 12 draft picks stand heading into training camp, which starts July 24.

First round

Jimmie Ward: The nickel cornerback has been recovering from a foot injury. But he is expected to be fine once camp starts. He has been doing classroom work and the team is excited about him helping right away.

Second round

Carlos Hyde: The running back has shined out of the backfield as a runner and as receiver. The Ohio State product is likely to get a chance at playing time right away. He was considered a steal at No. 57 on draft night and is still looking like one.

Third round

Marcus Martin: The center from USC has been getting praise. Daniel Kilgore still has the edge to win the starting job, but I wouldn't be shocked if Martin takes it.

Chris Borland: The inside linebacker from Wisconsin was a tackling machine in college. The early 49ers' reviews are strong. He could get some playing time early with NaVorro Bowman recovering from a torn ACL.

Brandon Thomas: The guard from Clemson is expected to be out for the year as he recovers from an offseason knee injury.

Fourth round

Bruce Ellington: The speedy receiver from South Carolina was a star of the offseason. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick called his minicamp play “amazing.” The 49ers will likely find a role for him as a receiver and as a punt returner early.

Dontae Johnson: The cornerback from NC State will likely make the roster as depth. He is still a project.

Fifth round

Aaron Lynch: He earned the praise last week of coach Jim Harbaugh. He's a project, but the 49ers like him. He should make a stacked linebacking unit.

Keith Reaser: The cornerback is likely out for the year as he recovers from a 2013 torn ACL.

Sixth round

Ken Acker: The cornerback will have to have a strong camp to make the team.

Seventh round

Kaleb Ramsey: The defensive lineman from Boston College had a terrific minicamp. The defensive line is stacked, but if he plays well, he could sneak on the 53-man roster.

Trey Millard: The fullback is likely out for the year as he recovers from a torn ACL.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Prior to the San Francisco 49ers' first mandatory minicamp practice, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he was looking for sharp workouts.

The 49ers didn't exactly deliver.

There were plenty of drops in a mostly mundane workout. However, I wouldn't exactly say it's cause for alarm. It's June and a lot of players were held out or limited. This is not high-intensity times.

It's a time to continue to work on rhythm before the team takes a month break before starting training camp.

The 49ers worked a lot of red zone offense Tuesday. They often stalled in the red zone last season, settling for field goals.

Roman said Tuesday he hopes to see an evolved offense in 2014. With a more experienced Colin Kaepernick, deeper receiving core and rookie running back Carlos Hyde, Roman likes the potential changes.

"I think it's fair to make the statement that it's a different offense, 2014. Because we've got some new guys in," Roman said. "I think it's definitely evolved from (from when he arrived to San Francisco with coach Jim Harbaugh in 2011) and it'll probably change a little bit this year."

In other camp notes:
  • Hyde and rookie receiver Bruce Ellington each had their moments Tuesday. Roman praised Hyde for his football knowledge. "Carlos, since he got here from the draft, really impressed me as a guy that football just makes sense to him," Roman said. "If you could just tell him what to do, and you don't have to tell him too much. And that's a beautiful thing in a running back because they have a lot of adjustments to make and protection, etc."
  • Several veterans such as running back Frank Gore and Justin Smith sat out practices as they did in the voluntary practices. It's just saving older players wear-and-tear. Receivers Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson didn't work in team drills as the team is being cautious.
  • Receiver Brandon Lloyd continued to make some nice catches as he continues to make a push to make the 53-man roster.
  • Roman was complimentary of young tight ends Vance McDonald and Derek Carrier as they get time with Vernon Davis holding out. McDonald is set to get the most time if Davis stays away. The 2013 second-round pick had some drops Tuesday, which was a problem in his rookie season.
  • Fifth-round pick Aaron Lynch, who will be a pass-rusher, didn't practice because of a hamstring injury. Seventh-round pick Kaleb Ramsey at defensive tackle looked solid. He will be interesting to watch in training camp and in the preseason.
  • Harbaugh maintained that he thinks Gore can play three more years. He is 31 and entering the final year of his contract.
  • Blaine Gabbert has the edge to be to Kaepernick's backup. Harbaugh heaped praise on him. "Very impressed with Blaine mentally, physically -- all attributes that you'd like to see in a quarterback. He's been very good, very solid. (He's) picked up everything very quickly. It's going well. Everything is progressing well. I think you'll watch it when you have a chance to see it today and look at it for yourself. In my eye, it looks very good."
  • Harbaugh said he is optimistic right tackle Anthony Davis will be ready for the start of training camp. He had shoulder surgery in April.
  • Running back Marcus Lattimore looked good and he is working full-go. He missed all of last season as he recovered from a torn ACL he suffered at South Carolina in 2012.
  • In a hint third-round pick Marcus Martin could push Daniel Kilgore for the starting center job, Roman heaped high praise on the rookie. "I think Marcus has done a really good job coming in as a rookie. The center position, there's so much that a center has to do in this league week-to-week," Roman said. "There's just so many different adjustments and whatnot. He's done a really good job so far against our defense, not only physically, but mentally as well."
  • Roman said he is happy with the play of Joe Looney at right guard. He is working with the starters with Alex Boone holding out.
The San Francisco 49ers will have their mandatory minicamp from Tuesday-Thursday. Here’s some things to watch for:

Davis
Boone
Will Davis and Boone show? Both tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone have stayed away from the voluntary portion of the offseason. That’s over. Starting Tuesday, everything the 49ers do as a team is mandatory and each player can be fined if they aren’t present. Davis said he expects to be at the minicamp. Boone has not said a word publicly about his plans. However, I’ve gotten the sense Boone is prepared not to show up until he gets a new deal. If neither player is at practice Tuesday, they will be holdouts and the stakes will change with their absences.

The cornerbacks: This is the biggest position of change. Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown are gone. Chris Culliver will start, but he is still working back from a torn ACL that kept him out all of last season. He should be fine for camp, but don’t expect him to go full-go in this camp. First-round pick Jimmie Ward is set to be the nickelback, but he is coming off a foot injury. He should be ready for training camp. A player of note in the minicamp is free-agent pickup Chris Cook. He will be in the rotation. Cook, who signed from Minnesota, has ideal size. He has looked good in the OTA sessions.

Offensive line: This unit, the pride and joy of the 49ers, should be fine in the long run, but it’s a little rough right now. Boone has been absent. Right tackle Anthony Davis is recovering from a shoulder injury and won’t be there until camp. Daniel Kilgore is taking over from Jonathan Goodwin and trying to hold off rookie Marcus Martin at center. Again, things will settle down, but don’t expect a well-oiled unit this week.

Passing game: Most of the receivers have been out during the voluntary sessions, mostly as precautions or for minor injuries. The passing game was rough in the OTA session that was open to the media last Tuesday. I’d expect to see more receivers during this camp, which is vital to help rhythm with quarterback Colin Kaepernick heading into training camp.

Inside linebackers: NaVorro Bowman is expected to be out until midseason as he recovers from a torn ACL. Michael Wilhoite has the inside shot to start for Bowman, but he will have to hold off Nick Moody and third-round pick Chris Borland.

Pass-rushers: Aldon Smith may face an NFL suspension. The 49ers need some extra pass-rush help. Keys to watch in camp is defensive lineman Tank Carradine, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, and second-year player Corey Lemonier, who looks like he’s added several pounds of muscle. The 49ers would love to see these two young players show a burst in this camp.

Marcus Lattimore: The 49ers are slowly bringing along the 2013 fourth-round draft pick. He has done some things in the OTA session, including showing nice hands out of the backfield. I wouldn’t expect Lattimore to go full-go in this camp, but the 49ers want to see continued comfort, speed and confidence from Lattimore, whom they hope can help this season.
The San Francisco 49ers no longer have any remaining free agents.

ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Triplett reported that the New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms with center Jonathan Goodwin. Goodwin was the last of the 49ers' free agents. The 49ers had no interest in bringing back Goodwin, who started every game for the 49ers the past three years.

The team signed backup Daniel Kilgore to a three-year extension this offseason and drafted USC’s Marcus Martin in the third round. They will compete for the starting job in training camp with Kilgore getting the first crack and Martin considered the long-term favorite.

Goodwin, 35, played for the Saints from 2006-10 before spending three seasons with the 49ers. Goodwin was steady on the field and popular in the locker room. But the 49ers felt like his play was starting to slip in his advanced age.

Marcus Martin signs with 49ers

May, 29, 2014
May 29
9:40
PM ET
Third-round pick, center Marcus Martin, signed a four-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday.

Martin (6-foot-3, 321 pounds) could get time at center or guard. He is the last of the 12 49ers draft picks to sign.

Martin played 38 games, starting 33, for USC.
We are looking at best-case scenarios for mid-round draft picks of the San Francisco 49ers.

Player: Marcus Martin

Position: C

Round: 3

Earliest he could have big role: Week 1.

Why is there an opportunity? Jonathan Goodwin, who started the past three years, was not brought back in free agency.

Who is in his way? Daniel Kilgore. The 49ers like him. They gave him an extension this offseason and think he is capable of starting.

Current thoughts: The edge goes to Kilgore. But if Martin can quickly adjust to the NFL and he has a strong preseason, and Kilgore struggles, I can see the 49ers going to Martin early. I expect him to become the full-time center at some point barring a big struggle.
Weekend mail call:

Yosh from Cypress, California, wants to know if I think the San Francisco 49ers’ brass regrets not moving up and taking Colin Kaepernick in the 2011 draft so they could give him a 2015 option.

Bill Williamson: Certainly, right now, the 49ers would rather they took Kaepernick in the first round. But I think it is unrealistic to think that way in the draft. You are looking for value at the moment. The 49ers took Kaepernick with the No. 36 overall pick. It was the fourth pick of the second round. It was a great value then. I think that’s still how you have to look at it.

Mikey from San Jose wants to know if I think Chris Culliver will start at cornerback.

BW: It appears that way. The 49ers really like him on the field. Yes, there are off-field concerns, but the 49ers are looking at him as a starter. If he plays well and he stays clean off the field, he could get a contract extension before next season.

Derek from San Francisco wants to know if I think third-round pick Marcus Martin could start right away.

BW: I think he has a shot. It might not be right away, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Martin overtook Daniel Kilgore at some point during the season. Kilgore is a nice player, but he is not proven as a starter. Martin has big skills. If he looks good in camp, I could see him getting a chance early. There is no doubt he is the long-term answer.
The top of the San Francisco 49ers' draft class has caught the imagination of fans.

In our poll this week, we asked readers to vote on which recently drafted 49er they were most looking forward to seeing play. Predictably, the winner was first-round pick Jimmie Ward who will play nickel cornerback. As of 1:15 p.m. ET Thursday, he received 38 percent of the vote. Trailing right behind him at 37 percent was running back Carlos Hyde. The Ohio State product was taken in the second round.

Receiver Bruce Ellington, a fourth-rounder, received 19 percent of the vote. Inside linebacker Chris Borland received four percent and center Marcus Martin received two percent.

I would have voted for Hyde. He can have a big role on a team that relies on the ground game. All of these players have a chance to make an impact right away, but Hyde could really boost the 49ers’ offense.

Thanks to everyone who voted.
SportsNation

Which of these 49ers draft choices are you most looking forward to seeing in 2014?

  •  
    37%
  •  
    38%
  •  
    2%
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    4%
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    19%

Discuss (Total votes: 4,204)

With the NFL draft in the books, which San Francisco 49ers' pick are you most excited about seeing in 2014?

Please register your vote in the poll. We will review the results Thursday.
Speaking on the SVP & Russillo show on ESPN radio, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said the team's goal of the draft was to select players who "reflect us."

Baalke said he thought the team's overall draft class -- the 49ers took 12 players -- was, indeed, "a reflection of our identity." The 49ers are known for being physical, rugged and smart on both sides of the ball. Several players, including safety Jimmie Ward, running back Carlos Hyde, center Marcus Martin, linebacker Chris Borland, guard Brandon Thomas and receiver Bruce Ellington seem to fit the team's mold.

Speaking specifically of Hyde, Baalke said the team had no expectation that he'd be available at No. 57 overall and the team was completed to take him. Meanwhile, in an Insider piece, Mel Kiper thinks Hyde can make a big impact as a rookie. Insider

In other 49ers news:

San Francisco is just approximately $796,000 under the salary cap. They will get $6 million-plus after June 1 for the Carlos Rogers release. Most of the leftover room will go to signing the draft class.
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.
In his annual post-draft grades,Insider, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. gave two teams a high mark of an "A."

One team desperately needed it – the Jacksonville Jaguars. The other team that Kiper gave the top grade to was the San Francisco 49ers. Well, that’s just piling on. The 49ers, who also traded for standout receiver Stevie Johnson during the draft, entered the draft with perhaps the NFL’s finest roster. Well, it got a lot better.

Here is some of Kiper’s reasoning for giving the 49ers such a great grade: The Niners just got so many good players. Safety Jimmie Ward will cover, attack the line of scrimmage, and will play fast and fearless. If you call that a reach, remember that Arizona had taken Deone Bucannon at No. 27, so there were already three safeties off the board (not that Bucannon and Ward are that similar) and the 49ers knew if they didn't nab Ward there, they had no chance later. They got the No. 1 RB in the draft at No. 57. Frank Gore has a lot of miles on the odometer, LaMichael James may not be there long, and if Marcus Lattimore is your No. 1, you better have a 1-A. Carlos Hyde made sense and, again, he's the top RB in the draft. Marcus Martin is a future starter at center; Chris Borland gives immediate depth at linebacker and has the experience to play now. Brandon Thomas is another 49ers redshirt, but could be a star guard when he comes back (he hurt his knee this spring, but would have gone in Round 2 otherwise). Bruce Ellington isn't a far cry from Brandin Cooks, but he went 86 picks later. It goes on and on. Dontae Johnson is solid and Aaron Lynch has developmental promise. I even like the pick at No. 245 -- Trey Millard is the top fullback in the draft and was another guy who dropped on some boards after a knee injury. What I like about this draft is the 49ers are in a championship window, and they still managed to balance both the need for immediate help and also got a lot of talent for the future.

What stood out to me about the 49ers’ draft is that they scored so many players who can make an impact, but were available lower than projected. Those players include Hyde, Martin, Borland and Ellington. Truly, the rich got richer.

Meanwhile,Insider in an Insider piece, Todd McShay really likes two 49ers’ picks a lot.
videoSANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The pick: Marcus Martin, C, USC

My take: I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin becomes a starter as a rookie. The 49ers have Daniel Kilgore, whom they gave him a modest contract extension, but Martin can be a superior player. If Kilgore is great in camp, he will keep the job for now, but Martin is the future.

Muench’s thoughts: Because ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay often had Martin to the 49ers in mock drafts, I spoke to Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench about Martin recently. Muench on Martin: "Great size and athleticism. He’s a bright player. However, some scouts question his toughness. Still, many scouts think he can be an instant starter."

What’s next: Three more picks tonight -- No. 77, No. 94 and No. 100. Cornerbacks and receivers, anyone?
One player who might be worth playing attention to leading up to the May 8-10 NFL draft is USC center Marcus Martin.

Both ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have Martin pegged to the San Francisco 49ers in recent mocks. They both had Martin going to the 49ers in the second round, where the team has two picks. Let’s take a closer look at Martin:

Size: 6-foot-3, 320 pounds

Experience: He moved to center in 2013 and played there for the first time. He was a starter at guard for his first two college seasons.

Known for: Great size and athleticism. He’s a bright player. However, some scouts question his toughness. Still, many scouts think he can be an instant starter.

Do 49ers need him? Daniel Kilgore, who just signed a three-year extension with the 49ers, will get the first crack to replace Jonathan Goodwin in the starting lineup. The 49ers are excited about Kilgore. However, if Kiper and McShay are right, Martin would certainly look like both an immediate and long-term option. Martin could also interest the 49ers because of his experience at guard. Mike Iupati is entering the final year of his contract, and it isn't a sure thing the 49ers will re-sign him.

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