NFL Cuts: 53 San Francisco 49ers Worth Keeping

Joseph BurkeyAnalyst IAugust 31, 2010

NFL Cuts: 53 San Francisco 49ers Worth Keeping

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Okay, here we go.

    The rosters will be chopped down to the magic number (53) by 1pm Sept 4. I'm not expecting too many big surprises, but my roster list travels a little off the map here.

    Much of my ridiculous forecast is based on where it seems like it would be smart to proceed with the roster additions and subtractions.

    It's a little outside the box, but not too far off the deep end. Agree or disagree, enjoy this visual roster prediction.

1—QB1—Alex Smith

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    Throwing off the front foot is a good thing.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    This is probably the biggest no-brainer while creating a 53-man roster here. If Alex was on his way out, we would have noticed by now.

2—QB2—Davd Carr

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    That's about it.Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    David Carr was brought in to do exactly what he's doing. And he'll do it all season unless Smith gets busted.

3—QB3—Nate Davis

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    long road aheadScott Boehm/Getty Images

    Nate Davis will not touch the football this year, baring a catastrophe.

4—RB1—Frank Gore

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    Gore: too much good stuff.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Correction: this is the biggest no-brainer on the roster. Frank is the heart and soul of the 49ers offense.

5—RB2—Brian Westbrook

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    Damn he looks good in Red and Gold.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    I'm giving Westbrook the seniority here, as his veteran status simply outranks the rest of the running back corp.

6—RB3—Anthony Dixon

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    Sweetness, only bigger, and not quite as good.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    There's no way the 49ers cut Dixon after the pre-season he's been having. He's the team's future at running back, even if Gore is the present.

7—FB1—Moran Norris

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    Franks the Tank's tank. A tank-tank, so to speak.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Behind every great running back out of a power-I formation is a great Fullback. Actually, Scratch that. In front of every great running back out of a Power-I formation is a great fullback.

    Norris is pretty dang good; Frank makes him even better.

8—WR1—Michael Crabtree

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Like so many other 49ers: he's young, talented and has stratospheric expectations to live up to.

9—WR2—Josh Morgan

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    Stout for a WR, Morgan can block and shed tackles.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Knock on Morgan has been his inconsistency. There are some games where he just can't be found. Other times, he's a standout. Morgan's best contibution, however, is the 220-pound receiver's ability to block on running plays.

10—WR3—Ted Ginn Jr.

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    Don't blink. Ginn has the ball!Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The speed the 49ers craved last year showed up this off-season in the form of Ted Ginn Jr.

11—WR4—Doninique Ziegler

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    Who is this guy?Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Camps best surprise (IMO) was probably this tall skinny fellow—with a big, fat heart.

12—WR5—Kyle Williams

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    Where is this one?Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    He's small, and now I worry delicate. Nevertheless, there are still some big expectations from the rookie. After all, he's a prototype slot receiver.

13—TE1—Vernon Davis

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    965, 13.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    78 catches, 965 yards, 13 touchdowns. Need anybody say more?

14—TE2—Delanie Walker

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    Delanie makes plays.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Walker is more of a speedy, receiving tight end, but block just fine as well.

15—TE3—Nate Byham

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    Bloody noses anyone?Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    More of a bruising blocker than Walker, Byham can still hurt a defense receiving if they forget about him.

16—OL1(LT)—Joe Staley

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    Alex Smith's body guard#1.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The best, most experienced guy on the line, Joe is holding the left tackle spot until injured (Knock wood) or supplanted.

17—OL2(G2,C2)—David Baas

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    Another big boy.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Baas, last year's Bob McKittrick award recipient, will start the season at center until Eric Heitmann returns. He will then be their backup center and guard.

18—OL3(LG)—Mike Iupati

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    He can fly too?Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    This big rookie is getting plugged directly into the line. Agile, hostile, mobile, he's a big asset.

19—OL4(C)—Eric Heitmann

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    Starting center: you miss them when they're gone.Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Out the first couple weeks with a broken leg bone, Heitmann needs to come back strong when he returns.

20—OL5(RG)—Chilo Rachal

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    The big guy is coming around.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Rachal, a second round pick in 2008, is coming along nicely. Starting all but one game last year, he provides some experience next to Rookie Anthony Davis.

21—OL6(RT)—Anthony Davis

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    That's a bad dude.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The second big, bad, first-round pick will also start; not bad for a 20-year-old.

22—OL7(T2,G2) Adam Snyder

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    Woolly mammoth.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Snyder has made a start at every position except center. He's a versatile and valuable backup.

23—OL8(G2,T2)—Barry Simms

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    Veteran linemanEzra Shaw/Getty Images

    Simms returns to the 49ers this year as their oldest lineman. At 35 years-old, he'll be doing a lot of mentoring, but can also step in wherever needed. Simms filled in for Joe Staley for seven games in 2009, and did a good job.

24—OL9(C3,G3)—Tony Wragge

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    The silent killerJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Heitmann's out, making Wragge the backup center while Baas fills in.

25—DL1(NT1)—Aubrayo Franklin

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    Rumble, big man, rumble.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The franchise nose guard is back.

26—DL2(RE1)—Justin Smith

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    Professional.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    A staple of the defense, Smith is ready for another good season; he knows no other kind.

27—DL3(LE1,NT3)—Isaac Sopoaga.

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Fairly versatile big man on defense, Sopoaga is a brick to move.

28—DL4(NT2)—Ricky Jean Francois

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    Smaller, but effective.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    He's small and young, but can be effective.

29—DL5(LE2)—Ray McDonald

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    Don't forget about him.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Yet another good talent on the defensive line.

30—DL(RE2)—Demetric Evans

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    Good stuff...lower the stance a little?Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Adequate on the pass rush, Evans can work against the run too.

31—LB1(MILB1)—Patrick Willis

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    look out.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    You've never heard of Patrick Willis? That means you live under a rock.

32—LB2(MILB2)—Takeo Spikes

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    Look out, part II.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Aging like fine wine, Spikes returns for his 13th year.

33—LB3(LOLB1)—Manny Lawson

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    Pass rush sleeper 20140.Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Lawson was a mild concern as an OTA holdout, but he did add 25 pounds of muscle during the off season.

34—LB4(ROLB1)—Travis LaBoy

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    Can Travis stay healthy?Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Many see him as a starter—if he can stay healthy.

35—LB5(OLB2)—Ahmad Brooks

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    Hit him!Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Coming off a lacerated kidney, Brooks looks to reignite the sack fire he started last year.

36—LB6(ILB3)—NaVorro Bowman

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    Ouch!Harry How/Getty Images

    The young man can play, and he will.

37—LB7(OLB3)—Parys Haralson

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    Down goes Garrard.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Haralson still needs to come out of his shell, but he's getting there.

38—LB8(ILB4)—Matt Wilhelm

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    WilhelmDoug Benc/Getty Images

    Adds depth as s special teams standout more than anything.

39—CB1—Nate Clement

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    $$$Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Expensive, and he's no Revis, but he plays.

40—CB2—Shawntae Spencer

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    Shutdown?Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Might actually be the best corner on the team.

41—CB3—Karl Paymah

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    A good guy, for fans and teammates.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Welcome to San Francisco, young man.

42—CB4—Tarell Brown

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    Get that spit outta here!Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    More youth speed, and skill.

43—CB5—Phillip Adams

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    He's got it.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Finally a recent picture of Adams. Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

44—S1—Dashon Goldson

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    He's got it.Greg Trott/Getty Images

    Best safety on the team.

45—S2(SS1)—Micheal Lewis

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    Don't eat a fly.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Pretty intense: right for the position.

46—S3—Taylor Mays

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    A star is born?Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Apparently, they do still make players like Taylor mays.

47—S4—Reggie Smith

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    The cheerleaders are over here!Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Just another young, talented defensive back.

48—K—Joe Nedney

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    kick it.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Gotta have a kicker.

48—P—Andy Lee

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    Best boot.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Lee is a Pro-Bowl punter.

50—LS—Brian Jennings

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    This guy?NFL Photos/Getty Images

    Somebody has to snap it.

3 Spots Left...

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    ?Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    This is where it gets tricky...

51—RB—Michael Robinson

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    get him!Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    No question this guy's name comes up every time the chopping block is mentioned; his running does not impress anybody. Blocking and tackling on special teams, however, save his place here.

52—FB—Brit Miller

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    millerOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    I think Miller get a shot from the get go this year. He does well on special teams as well, as he converted to fullback from linebacker.

53—OL—Alex Boone

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    BooneEzra Shaw/Getty Images

    When the press mentions cutting Boone, they include the likelihood that he'll be claimed off waivers by another team before the 49ers can get him to the practice squad. Keeping him aviods this mess.

And Then...

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    Game on.Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Obviously this isn't official. Some spots (especially the last three here) leave the door open for debate and controversy. Actual rosters are revealed Saturday.

    Until then, um... Go 49ers!