49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 3, 2009
And then there were 53 ...

Mike Singletary says he has a "very good idea" about who his final 53 players will be. I'll bet it looks something like this: (margin of error +/- 53)

Offensive line (8)
David Baas, Eric Heitmann, Chilo Rachal, Barry Sims, Adam Snyder, Joe Staley, Cody Wallace, Tony Wragge
* The ninth guy likely is Alex Boone, someone who probably will wind up on the practice squad. Boone is a right tackle only whereas Sims has versatility and experience. Matt Spanos is big, can move and can play guard and center. He's worth keeping around on the practice squad.

Running backs (5)
Glen Coffee, Frank Gore, Moran Norris, Michael Robinson, Kory Sheets
*Does Sheets make it? Yes, he had a great preseason. But so did Thomas Clayton in 2008. Remember, almost every team passed on Sheets seven times in the draft. Brit Miller is why practice squads were invented.

Tight ends (3)
Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Bear Pascoe
* Singletary has said JJ Finley and Pascoe are essentially tied for the final position. Whoever doesn't wind up on the active roster likely would land on the practice squad. Finley, it seems, would have an easier time making it through waivers.

QBs (3)
Nate Davis, Shaun Hill, Alex Smith
* After releasing Damon Huard on Tuesday, the 49ers better pray that none of their QBs gets injured tonight.

Receivers (6)
Arnaz Battle, Isaac Bruce, Michael Crabtree, Brandon Jones, Josh Morgan, Micheal Spurlock
*Does vagabond Spurlock really knock third-round pick Jason Hill off the roster? Here's my argument: Spurlock has out-performed Hill this offseason, has been healthier than Hill and has more uses than Hill. Of course, the 49ers probably could cut Spurlock and re-sign him if anything were to happen to Allen Rossum during the season. And of course, both Spurlock and Hill could make it considering that Crabtree hasn't signed. A big hint will come when the first-team offense lines up tonight - Battle, Bruce, Jones and Crabtree won't be playing ...

Defensive line (6)
Kentwan Balmer, Demetric Evans, Aubrayo Franklin, Ray McDonald, Justin Smith, Isaac Sopoaga.
*Rookie Ricky Jean-Francois makes it if the 49ers go with five cornerbacks. If not, the 49ers cross their fingers he passes through waivers and lands on the practice squad.

Linebackers (8)
Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson, Marques Harris, Manny Lawson, Scott McKillop, Takeo Spikes, Jeff Ulbrich, Patrick Willis.
* This unit is in real trouble if Haralson gets hurt. Don't be surprised to see the 49ers scan the waiver wire for a pass-rushing OLB. Rookie Diyral Briggs and Justin Roland are practice-squad candidates.

Cornerbacks (6)
Dre Bly, Tarelll Brown, Nate Clements, Eric Green, Marcus Hudson, Shawntae Spencer.
* The 49ers play in the most pass-happy division in the NFL and they had six cornerbacks last season. Still, Green and Hudson are the last two guys on the elevator before the door closes. Green needs a solid performance tonight to solidify his spot. Hudson is a special teams demon but not the greatest cover corner.

Safeties (4)
Dashon Goldson, Michael Lewis, Mark Roman, Reggie Smith.
* Smith has been a pleasant surprise this summer. Rookie Curtis Taylor is solid practice-squad prospect.

Specialists (4)
Brian Jennings, Andy Lee, Joe Nedney, Allen Rossum.

-- Matt Barrows

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MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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