Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jim Harbaugh will have his work cut out for him
The more I look at the 49ers' roster, the more I am concerned. There are so many holes and question marks that it's extremely improbable the 49ers are above .500 this coming year.
Let's take a quick look at the many questions still unanswered in San Francisco.
Quarterback: Alex Smith is a huge question mark and Colin Kaepernick needs time to develop.
Running Back: What will happen with Frank Gore's demand to renegotiate his contract and can he even stay healthy? With two inexperienced backups, the 49ers have a major problem if they do not give Gore what he wants or if Gore cannot return to form after his 2010 injury.
Wide Receiver: Will Michael Crabtree blossom under Jim Harbaugh or will he continue with his poor work ethic, lazy route running and me first attitude? Josh Morgan is really a number three or four receiver on a good team, but starts in San Francisco.
Offensive Line: Who will play center? Will Anthony Davis step up and become a quality right tackle? Can Joe Staley stay healthy? Is Chilo Rachal ready to be a quality starter or is he a bust? This unit was very poor in 2010 and their success will play a large role in whether Alex Smith and the 49er offense flourishes or sinks.
Defensive Line: Two of the three positions are totally up in the air. Justin Smith is the only proven player on this unit.
Linebackers: With Spikes gone and Lawson likely on his way out, the 49ers must find two starters, one on the inside and one on the outside that can do the job. This also compromises the depth at this position.
Secondary: Arguably the worst unit on the team in 2010. The 49ers did nothing to bring in starting talent in the draft. Can they sign a free agent cornerback? What do they do with Nate Clements? Can Goldson and Reggie Smith or Taylor Mays handle the two safety jobs?
GM Trent Ballke did not impress me with the 2011 draft and thus far has not impressed me with his handling of the free agent frenzy. The 49ers have lost two vital players and thus far have not added anyone from outside their own organization.
The bottom line in the NFL is that you need good players. Jim Harbaugh could be the best coach in the world, but if he has an inferior roster, the team will not be successful. Right now, the 49ers have a woefully inferior roster.
Unless Baalke makes some key moves in the next few days, or perhaps even the next few hours, the 49ers are destined to have a roster full of holes and also a lack of depth to withstand injuries.
Looking at the roster as it stands today and the huge number of question marks the 49ers have, they will be very lucky to finish at .500 or better. As a lifelong 49er fan it pains me to say this, but the team could easily have a record similar or even worse than in 2010.