Predicting the 49ers' 2012 Practice Squad Roster
The San Francisco 49ers have shown flashes of brilliance in these first three preseason games—and unfortunately, signs of disappointment too.
The offense, which many analysts and fans have raved about after the additions of Randy Moss, A.J. Jenkins, LaMichael James and so forth, has underwhelmed in the preseason thus far.
While many would rush to judgement regarding the 49ers' so-called "hunger" after their successful campaign in 2011, we shouldn't forget that the preseason can be misleading at times.
After a 2-2 finish in the 2011 preseason, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers shocked the league with a 13-3 regular season record and a shot at a Super Bowl appearance.
While the preseason has its many advantages, we must not forget that these are practice games and nothing more.
The young players may disagree. Their time to shine happens in the preseason, and a good performance or two can land you a roster spot with a club. The 49ers organization is no different.
The practice squads are usually out of the limelight—but in this case, it's time to highlight which current 49ers will end up on the practice squad for the upcoming 2012 season.
Chris Owusu (WR)
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Owusu is probably one of the more prominent players for consideration on the 53-man roster and for good reason. The former Stanford player has an obvious relationship with the former Stanford coach in Jim Harbaugh.
While their relationship has been highlighted, Owusu stood out in the rookie minicamps. Does this mean Owusu will make the 53-man roster? Likely not, but the reason for this estimation is due to depth rather than skill-set.
The 49ers are loaded at receiver. Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, A.J. Jenkins, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams and so forth.
Look for the 49ers to place Owusu on the practice squad, if he's willing.
Michael Thomas (Safety)
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Another Stanford product, Michael Thomas has some familiarity with the 49ers coaching staff, most of which is comprised of Jim Harbaugh's staff while at Stanford.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has been outspoken about the 49ers backup safeties (and not in a good way), but the former Cardinal coordinator has high praise for the rookie Stanford safety.
With sixth-round pick Trenton Robinson likely taking a roster spot, in addition to Colin Jones etching a role in special teams, the former Stanford safety will likely be a practice squad addition.
Ian Williams (NT)
A favorite of Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh, Williams could have a future with the 49ers but this may not be the year.
While Williams has shown he can play inside, he lacks the versatility that Harbaugh craves. Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Isaac Sopoaga can play several positions along that defensive line.
The 49ers will also likely keep Demarcus Dobbs, who plays both tight end and defensive end.
Scott Tolzien (QB)
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It will be interesting to see which direction Harbaugh takes with the third quarterback spot. Colin Kaepernick is all but a lock to start behind Alex Smith in the upcoming season.
Tolzien has impressed, but Josh Johnson is the more versatile player. In addition, Johnson played for Jim Harbaugh while quarterbacking at the University of San Diego.
If I had to pick, my bet would be on Josh Johnson making the 53-team roster.