San Francisco 49ers: Quinton Dial

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.
While I still think it would be a good idea for the San Francisco 49ers to trade running back LaMichael James to the Philadelphia Eagles, it won’t happen.

James
There's no room in Philly for a shifty running back. Chip Kelly -- who coached James at Oregon -- got his tailback Thursday when he traded for Darren Sproles from New Orleans. As for James, the 49ers can only hope he can become the Sproles-like weapon they envisioned when they spent a second-round pick on him in 2012.

James has made little impact on offense, but he did become a solid return man last season. If James doesn’t make something happen in a crowded backfield in 2014, his time in San Francisco could be limited.

In other 49ers' notes:

The Eagles signed cornerback Nolan Carroll. The 49ers had shown interest in him. The 49ers are reportedly visiting with Minnesota cornerback Chris Cook on Thursday. They still want to keep free-agent cornerback Tarell Brown.

Carolina released Steve Smith on Thursday. If the 49ers are interested -- here are some reasons they could be -- the time is now.

Second-year defensive lineman Quinton Dial switched from No. 71 to No. 92. He made the request weeks ago. It had nothing to do with the addition of offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who wore No. 71 in Miami. If Martin wants to keep the number, though, it is available.

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.
With the San Francisco 49ers' season over, let’s take a look at the impact made by the rookie class:

First round: The 49ers traded up to take safety Eric Reid at No. 18 and they have not been disappointed. He made the Pro Bowl after a strong season in which he showed the game is not too big for him. Reid was very polished and he seems like he will be a big part of the team's future for many years.

Second round: The 49ers feel very good about tight end Vance McDonald's future. He improved as the season went on, especially as a blocker, but he must improve as a receiver, too.

Third round: Auburn linebacker Corey Lemonier played more earlier in the season when Aldon Smith was away from the team, but he did play on special teams for much of the season. He has potential and provides the 49ers with good depth.

Fourth round: Receiver Quinton Patton returned from a Week 4 broken foot in December and showed a real burst. He has explosion and plays with a lot of confidence. He looks like he may be a find.

Fifth round: Defensive tackles Quinton Dial didn’t play much, but the team likes him and he has a chance to be a rotational player soon.

Sixth round: The 49ers like linebacker Nick Moody's his special-teams potential.

Undrafted free agents

Long snapper: Kevin McDermott's battle with longtime snapper Brian Jennings was a story during the preseason. McDermott won the job partly on price tag, and the move paid off. McDermott did a great job all season and had chemistry with kicker Phil Dawson and punter Andy Lee. He looks like he will be a 49er for many years.

Cornerback: Darryl Morris has developed into a key piece for a vastly improved coverage unit. The team likes his potential on defense, as well.

Note: This class can get a lot better. Second-round pick Tank Carradine, a defensive lineman , and fourth-round pick, running back Marcus Lattimore, missed last year with torn ACLs. Both were considered first-round picks had they been healthy. Both are expected to be healthy in 2014, and have a lot of potential.

Conclusion: This looks to be a strong class after a mostly wasted 2012 draft. This class is deep with long-term potential, especially if McDonald takes the next step and Carradine and Lattimore can stay healthy.

No surprises on 49ers' inactive list

December, 29, 2013
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There isn’t much intrigue on the San Francisco 49ers’ list of inactives Sunday at Arizona.

And that’s a good thing for the team. This team is very healthy. All six of the team’s inactive players are young, depth players. The 49ers have only 52 players on the roster after putting receiver Mario Manningham on the injured reserve Friday. The 49ers are expected to fill the roster in the next couple of days.

Here are Sunday’s inactive players: tight end Derek Carrier, linebacker Nick Moody, guard Ryan Seymour, defensive tackle Quinton Dial, guard Joe Looney and receiver Jon Baldwin.

Midway point rookie review

November, 1, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- With the San Francisco 49ers' regular season half over, let’s take a look at the impact made by the rookie class:

First round: Safety Eric Reid. The 49ers traded up to take Reid at No. 18 and they have not been disappointed. Reid has stepped right in and looks like he’s been playing for five years. He rarely makes mistakes and he has shown he is a playmaker. The team does not miss Dashon Goldson, who went to Tampa Bay in free agency. Reid is a big reason why this defense is still top notch. Kudos to him for being up to task and to the 49ers for making this choice.

Second round: Tight end Vance McDonald. McDonald has just six catches, but he is playing extensively and blocking very well. I expect him to get better pretty rapidly. He's a potential impact player.

Third round: Linebacker Corey Lemonier. The Auburn product had been a gift to the 49ers. He has played a lot in the past five games with linebacker Aldon Smith in alcohol treatment. Lemonier has shown a burst as a pass-rusher and in the run game. He looks to have a bright future.

Fourth round: Receiver Quinton Patton. Patton showed promise before suffering a foot injury in Week 4. He will be part of the picture later this season and in the future.

Fifth round: Defensive tackle Quinton Dial. Dial has been active the past two games after coming back from an injury. He seems to be part of the rotational plan at nose tackle.

Sixth round: Linebacker Nick Moody. He is expected to be a key member of the special-teams units when he returns from a broken hand.

Undrafted free agents:

Long-snapper: Kevin McDermott. His battle with longtime snapper Brian Jennings was a story during the preseason. McDermott won the job partly on price tag. The move paid off. His snapping has been flawless.

Cornerback: Darryl Morris. He has developed into a key piece for a vastly improved coverage unit. He has quickly secured his place on the 53-man roster moving forward.

Note: This week, the 49ers activated defensive lineman Tank Carradine off the PUP list. He is a dynamic player who is coming off a torn ACL. He could make his presence felt down the stretch. Fourth-round pick Marcus Lattimore is making strides from a major knee injury he suffered in college. He may practice this season with an eye on 2014.

Conclusion: This looks to be a strong class after a mostly wasted 2012 draft. This class is deep with long-term potential. This is one of the deepest rosters in football, yet there are several rookies who are figuring in prominently on a 6-2 team.
LONDON -- Some notes from the San Francisco 49ers' practice day Thursday:

Tight end Vernon Davis was pouring on the charm to the local press Thursday. Asked about his thoughts of being in London: “I would move here if I had the chance.”

Davis, who caught a soccer match with running back Frank Gore earlier in the week, said he’d play for a hypothetical NFL franchise in London, as long as the team colors were “red and gold.” Of course.

The 49ers are moving from their tony resort, The Grove, on Friday morning. They will practice at Allianz Park, a new rugby stadium, which is also outside of London.

• The 49ers all raved about The Grove, yet linebacker Patrick Willis admitted he wasn’t a fan of the practice field, which has been damp.

“I wouldn't say I'm very fond of it," Willis said. "Soggy and slippery and everything that a guy that's trying to get over a groin (injury) doesn't need."

However, it was a beautiful day for practice on Thursday. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the day was “eerily similar to Santa Clara,” where the 49ers usually practice under ideal weather conditions.

• Veteran defensive lineman Justin Smith was impressed by rookie defensive tackle Quinton Dial in his debut at Tennessee. Smith said Dial “has a nastiness to him.”

• The 49ers will not play in London in 2014. The NFL announced the three-game lineup Thursday and the 49ers are not on the schedule.

• The 49ers’ honorary captains Sunday will be Joe Montana and Dwight Clark.

• San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the Jaguars’ defense is similar to what head coach Gus Bradley ran in Seattle when he was defensive coordinator.

Glenn Dorsey is active

October, 20, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In a mild surprise, San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Glenn Dorsey is active and he will start Sunday at Tennessee.

Dorsey missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He was listed as questionable on the injury report. Dorsey injured his right hamstring in the first quarter of last Sunday’s win over Arizona.

Rookie Quinton Dial, activated from the physically unable to perform list Saturday, is active.

Running back LaMichael James is inactive again. He was a healthy scratch last week as well. During the week, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said James would have a role on the team this season.

Receiver Jon Baldwin is active. He was ill during the week and was listed as questionable.

49ers activate Quinton Dial

October, 19, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The San Francisco 49ers have activated rookie defensive tackle Quinton Dial from the physically unable to perform list.

The fifth-round pick from Alabama is active after just three days of practice. He will likely be active Sunday because the 49ers are thin at nose tackle because Glenn Dorsey is dealing with a hamstring injury. Tony Jerod-Eddie will likely start. The other option was promoting Mike Purcell from the practice squad, but Dial is a more skilled player.

Receiver Chris Harper was cut on Thursday to make room on the 53-man roster for this move. Harper was claimed by Green Bay on Friday. The 49ers had interest in putting Harper on the practice squad.

Here is a post I did Friday on what to expect from Dial.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As expected, San Francisco nose tackle Glenn Dorsey is listed as questionable to play at Tennessee on Sunday.

Dorsey
Dorsey injured his hamstring last week in the win against Arizona. The odds are Dorsey is rested and Tony Jerod-Eddie starts. Coach Jim Harbaugh said a player will be added to the 53-man roster Saturday, and it will likely either be Quinton Dial (off the PUP list) or Mike Purcell (off the practice squad). The 49ers need depth at nose tackle.

Receiver Jon Baldwin is questionable with an illness that has been bothering him since Thursday. Defensive linemen Ray McDonald (biceps) and Justin Smith (shoulder) are also questionable. But all are likely to play Sunday barring any setbacks.

• Linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who is dealing with a personal matter, he missed the past two days of practice, but is expected to play Sunday.

• Receiver Chris Harper was claimed off waivers from Green Bay. The 49ers cut him Thursday. He was originally cut by Seattle in August after being a fourth-round pick. The 49ers likely would have put Harper on the practice squad.

• Harbaugh raved about Mario Manningham’s work in practice and said Manningham will be activated from the PUP “soon.”

• 49ers tackle Anthony Davis was fined $15,750 for an illegal clip against the Cardinals.

• Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker is questionable to play Sunday. He has missed the past two games with a hip injury. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick will start if Locker can’t play.

What to expect from Quinton Dial

October, 18, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Quinton Dial may soon be healthy enough to play for the San Francisco 49ers, who need the depth on the defensive line.

Dial, a fifth-round pick from Alabama, is practicing this week after coming off the physically unable to perform list. He may not have to wait long for playing time due to a need at nose tackle. He also can play defensive end.

I reached out to draft expert Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. to get his thoughts on Dial when he came out of school. Muench said Dial has ability and fits the 49ers’ scheme. But there are concerns.

Here's Muench: “The first thing I think about is his blindside block on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in last year’s SEC championship. His greatest strength as a player is defending the run. He’s tough to move off the ball and he has the upper-body strength to control blockers. He fits well in San Francisco’s scheme because he can line up on the inside or the outside in that scheme, plus he can help free up those talented linebackers by occupying blockers. If he stays healthy and they can get him to consistently play at a high level, he could prove to be a valuable role player. Those are big ifs based on his history and tape, though. We gave him a seventh-round grade. Injury concerns played a role and we may have moved him into the late fifth-round range if he was healthy, but they aren’t the only reason he didn’t grade out as an earlier pick. He’s not much of a threat to get to the quarterback himself and, more importantly, we had concerns about his motor.”

Still, Dial has a chance in San Francisco because of coaching and the talent around him. He should be able to get up to speed.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Earlier Thursday, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said nose tackle Glenn Dorsey would try to practice some. But later in the day, the 49ers indicated that Dorsey had missed his second straight practice day because of a hamstring injury.

Dorsey
Because hamstrings are easily aggravated, the odds are against Dorsey playing at Tennessee on Sunday. Tony Jerod-Eddie will likely start, and the team will likely either add Mike Purcell from the practice squad or activate Quinton Dial from the physically unable to perform list.

The 49ers did get some good injury news Thursday. Guard Alex Boone and defensive linemen Ray McDonald and Justin Smith all practiced on a limited basis after not working out on Wednesday.

Receiver Jon Baldwin didn’t practice Thursday because of an illness. Linebacker Ahmad Brooks did not practice for personal reasons; it is not expected to affect his playing status Sunday.

Quinton Dial could be activated

October, 17, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Wednesday the team might have to add a defensive lineman to the 53-man roster if nose tackle Glenn Dorsey can’t play because of a hamstring injury.

Thursday, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio backed up those thoughts. He said rookie Quinton Dial could be activated in time to play at Tennessee Sunday if Dorsey, who didn’t practice Wednesday, can’t play. Practice squad defensive tackle Mike Purcell is also an option.

Dial started practicing this week and the 49ers have until Nov. 5 to activate him from the physically unable to perform list. If Dial is taken off the PUP this week, there is no going back. The 49ers can’t put him back and they won’t cut the fifth-round pick. So, if he is activated this week, he is staying on the roster.

In other 49ers notes:
  • The 49ers have scored 30-plus points four times this season. Only Denver (six) has more 30-plus point games this season. The 49ers have scored 30-plus points in three straight games for first time in 10 years. That’s pretty impressive considering the lack of receiving weapons in San Francisco.
  • 49ers safety Donte Whitner chimes in on the Andrew Luck-Peyton Manning chatter this week.
  • Running back LaMichael James talks to CSN Bay Area about staying patient. He was a healthy scratch last week. Still, Harbaugh said James, a second-round pick last year, will have a role with the team.
  • What if Manning signed with the 49ers?
  • Fangio said this of team physician Dan Garza, who died this week unexpectedly: "He was an A+ doctor and a friend of everyone in the organization. Tremendous individual."
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Earlier Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said it was possible the team will add to its thin defensive line this week in the form of a roster move.

After practice, it became evident why such a move could happen. Starting defensive linemen Justin Smith (shoulder), Ray McDonald (biceps) and Glenn Dorsey (hamstring) all did not practice.

Smith and McDonald are likely to play Sunday at Tennessee, although McDonald is still getting used to playing with his injury he suffered in Week 5. Dorsey’s hamstring injury is not expected to be too serious. But teams are always cautious with hamstring injuries because they can quickly get worse. It wouldn’t be a shock if Dorsey sits out this week. If that’s the case, Tony Jerod-Eddie would start.

A potential candidate to be added to the active roster would be Mike Purcell, who is on the 49ers’ practice squad.

Rookie Quinton Dial, who is practicing for the first time this week, is a long shot. He likely needs more time to practice before he is ready to play. Along with rookie defensive lineman Tank Carradine, cornerback Eric Wright and receiver Mario Manningham, the 49ers have until Nov. 5 to either activate or shelve Dial for the year.

Harbaugh said all four players are just starting the process of returning.

“The players are, our coaches are [working] to get them acclimated back into playing 11-on-11 football,” Harbaugh said.

Reinforcements on the way for 49ers

October, 14, 2013
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers remain optimistic they will get four players back to practice this week after injuries.

Receiver Mario Manningham, cornerback Eric Wright and rookie defensive linemen Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial are “anticipated” to practice this week, coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. This reiterates what Harbaugh said last week about the group. The 49ers have a walk-through practice Tuesday and then have a full-fledged practice Wednesday, which would be the player’s first real test.

Once the players start to practice the team will have 21 days to activate them to the 53-man roster or shelve them for the season. All four players, barring setbacks, are expected to be activated.

Harbaugh said Sunday Dial, a fifth-round pick from Alabama, could be activated as soon as Sunday against Nashville.

The 49ers are thin on the defensive line. Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey injured his hamstring in the first quarter Sunday and did not return. He was jogging on the sideline, didn’t have much of a limp after the game and said he thought he’d be fine. Monday, Harbaugh said there is no new information on Dorsey’s health.

In other 49ers’ notes:
  • Harbaugh said several players stood out in the 32-20 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. He pointed out the play of tackle Anthony Davis and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
  • Asked if the 49ers would be interested in trading for a receiver such as Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon or Kenny Britt, Harbaugh said that is “endless speculation” and the 49ers are not interested in “endless speculation.”
  • While Kyle Williams hasn’t been spectacular on punt returns, Harbaugh defended his work and said Williams is doing a good job.
  • The 49ers signed guard Al Netter to the practice squad. Netter was previously with the team. Tampa Bay signed guard Patrick Omameh from the squad last week.
  • 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone toldCSN Bay Area how difficult it is to turn on and off his emotions on the field.
  • 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin discussed his charity celebrity dinner at Morton's the Steakhouse in San Jose on Nov. 11. The Anquan Boldin Foundation benefits under-privileged children.
  • The 49ers leave for a 10-day trip Friday when they go to Nashville for Sunday’s game against the Titans. They then fly directly to London to play Jacksonville on Oct. 27. What’s Harbaugh’s travel plan like? Pretty simple: “I’m going to go with the clothes on my back, pack my playbook, a tooth brush and a great attitude.”

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