The San Francisco 49ers were one play away from advancing to their seventh Super Bowl in 2013. They’re in the prime of their championship window, as they work to keep their veterans potent for a few more seasons and slowly bring their young talent up to speed.
When you’re talking about a team that boasted 10 Pro Bowlers last season, there’s not a heck of a lot of room to improve at the top of the roster. Rather, any improvement has to come at the bottom of the roster, enhancing depth and solidifying potential injury replacements and rotational talent.
Have the 49ers actually improved at these spots, or are they simply treading water? Have they actually taken any steps backward in their question to regain the conference and divisional crowns they won in 2012?
Let’s go position by position and see what moves San Francisco has made since the beginning of last season and how the team is set up moving forward into 2014. We’ll look at which players have left the squad, which have been added and which remaining players are poised to take a step forward in 2014.
The lists of players on the following slides err on the side of players making the final cuts; hence there are more than 53 players listed as players on the 2014 roster. Most evaluations will be based on the projected starters, but losses in depth can hurt the team just as much as the loss of a starter.
Without further ado, let’s begin our position-by-position look at the 49ers’ units.