San Francisco 49ers: 5 Players Firmly on the Roster Bubble
Of course, the offseason did have some notable headlines. From the signing of an Olympian to a rather noteworthy rookie receiver who loves to be early, and lest not forget the heartwarming story of Niners draft pick, Marcus Lattimore, the offseason was interesting to say the least.
With training camp about a month away, the 49ers players and coaches will be resting up and vacationing before coming back to the grind of football.
Until then, let's explore a few noteworthy players who could be on the chopping block.
Anthony Dixon (RB)
It seems I've been saying Anthony Dixon and chopping block together for the last two seasons, but the four-year veteran finds a way on the roster.
The 49ers are stacked at RB, and with return of a healthy Kendall Hunter, Dixon looks like the odd man out.
Remember, the 49ers have Frank Gore as a starter, Hunter as a likely backup and LaMichael James as a situational rusher. In addition, the 49ers also have Jewel Hampton to provide competition.
Look, Dixon has been a great teammate and solid special teams player, but as a halfback, his contributions are lacking on a team with a handful of great rushers.
Dixon is versatile, which should give him some brownie points with Jim Harbaugh. He played backup fullback last season and on special teams.
Scott Tolzien (QB)
Scott Tolzien is fighting for third on the 49ers' QB depth chart, but he's receiving some stiff competition from dual-threat QB B.J. Daniels.
Tolzien is the more polished player and has the experience of knowing this playbook, but Daniels has some athletic gifts that are hard to ignore.
When you look at the 49ers incorporating more read-option and zone-read plays into their West Coast offense, it makes sense that Daniels could take Tolzien's spot. The rookie quarterback is also a decent thrower, which should make this competition even more tighter.
I suspect Tolzien will eventually win out, but watch out for Daniels in the upcoming seasons. I'm sure GM Trent Baalke will attempt to sign Daniels to the practice squad if he misses the 53-man roster.
Cam Johnson (OLB)
Former seventh-round selection, Cam Johnson, could be left out in the cold when its all said and done. The promising linebacker was thought to be a raw player coming out of the University of Virginia, and after two seasons, that same designation still holds.
I had high hopes for Johnson, but it seems he has not made a large enough impression on the 49ers coaches for increased playing time. Johnson appeared in only two games last season, recording zero sacks.
Additionally, the 49ers have added heavy competition at OLB, which leaves his roster spot in jeopardy. With the likes of Darius Fleming, Cory Lemonier, Tank Carradine (when healthy), Parys Haralson and Nick Moody, Johnson could be an early cut in the training camp.
Perrish Cox (DB)
I fully expected Cox to either push Chris Culliver or one of the 49ers' current starters at DB for more playing time, but he fell short of either goal.
Now, the 49ers have added two more players to a secondary that was somewhat underwhelming in the postseason last year. Nnamdi Asomugha and Marcus Cooper are the new additions, and while I expect Cooper to be a practice squad addition, we can't say the same for Asomugha.
In fact, Asomugha should play quite a bit if he can stay healthy. Also, expect Tramaine Brock to have an increased role.
Cox is all but finished as a 49er.
Darcel McBath (SS)
Darcel McBath is likely fourth or fifth on the depth chart at safety, and while he has contributed on special teams, that may eventually change after the 49ers brought in some notable additions.
Special teams standouts Kassim Osgood (WR) and Raymond Ventrone (S) recently signed with the 49ers, and both will look to make an impact on a special teams unit that looked average last season.
In particular, Ventrone plays safety which could leave McBath without a job come training camp. We'll see how the chips fall, but as of right now, McBath is a likely cut.