I think this is pretty much a lock. The only question is does Kaepernick take over as 49ers starter at any point in this season. I say it is 50-50. At best Alex Smith gives us a decent season and can put us in the mix for 8-8. I think Kaepernick will be ready to be a starting NFL QB by next year but he has already shown me he can be better than Alex Smith.
Running Backs/Fullbacks (5): Frank Gore; Kendall Hunter; Anthony Dixon; Bruce Miller; Moran Norris Gore is an obvious lock and Hunter looks like the clear #2. I think Dixon probably will make the team but he is not a lock. At fullback, it is just a matter of time before Miller becomes the starter over Norris. Norris is also no lock for making the team.
Wide Receivers (6) Michael Crabtree; Braylon Edwards; Joshua Morgan; Ted Ginn Jr; Kyle Williams; Dominique Ziegler
So the surprise here is that Ronald Johnson does not make the team. He was a 6th rd pick and is a favorite of WR's coach John Morton who was his position coach at SC. Problem is, Johnson has really struggled in the pre-season and has had a so-so camp. I think Ziegs beats him out as he has already been impressing Harbaugh and he is a very solid sure handed receiver. Kyle Williams has looked very good in camp and pre-season. Crabtree, Edwards and Morgan could form a heck of a trio if they all can stay healthy and focused.
Tight Ends (3) Vernon Davis; Delaine Walker; Konrad Reuland
Vernon is a stud. Delaine Walker should have a real nice role in this offense and Reuland looks like a solid rookie.
Offensive Line (9) Joe Staley; Mike Iupati; Jonathan Goodwin; Chilo Rachal; Anthony Davis; Alex Boone; Adam Snyder; Daniel Kilgore; Tony Wragge
Tough call here, Harbaugh could go with 8 guys as Wragge would be the odd man out. I think they will start the season with 9 O-Lineman and if they need to open up a roster spot at another position, Wragge could be the first one gone. This group needs to get their act together, QUICK! Staley just has not looked the same since he broke his leg. Iupati looks like he still has a ways to go but he has shown he could be a very good O-Lineman at times. The same really can't be said for Chilo Rachal and Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis right now looks like Kwame Harris part Deux. He just looks lost and confused out there and I question his feet and concentration. Rachal has shown me he cannot do the job. I do not trust him at all. I have basically given up on him. I am still holding out some hope for Davis. If Goodwin can pick this offense and get in sync, he can be a very good starting Center for us but it could take another month or so. Snyder is a good backup because he is so versatile and I think he is a better RG than Rachal. Daniel Kilgore has really impressed the heck out of me. They drafted him to groom him as a starting center but he has looked really good at guard to. I think he could be a starter in 2012. The other drafted rookie O-Lineman (Mike Person) has looked pretty good to as a backup tackle. He will most likely be on the practice squad and could make the team next year.
Defensive Line (6) Justin Smith; Issac Sopoaga; Ray McDonald; Ricky Jean Francois; DeMarcus Dobbs; Will Tukuafu
A week ago I thought Ian Williams was just about a lock to make the team but now I am not so sure. He needs a good game on Thursday to make the team, IMO. We could also pick up a veteran if a solid one becomes available. Dobbs has been a real pleasant surprise and he has to be a lock to make the team now. He looks like he has starting potential down the road as well. Tukuafu has been real solid as well. He always seem to be very active and gets a nice push. Ricky Jean would be a key guy as he would be the top backup at both DE spots and NT.
Linebackers (9) Patrick Willis; Navorro Bowman; Larry Grant; Blake Costanzo; Aldon Smith; Ahmad Brooks; Parys Haralson; Antwan Applewhite
I do not think Applewhite will make the team unless he has a big game vs San Diego. I do think we will add a fourth OLB though but it will be from another team. Ahmad Brooks looks poised to have a big year in Fangio's scheme. Aldon Smith is a bit raw but he is showing flashes of being a big time player. Willis is the best LB in the NFL. Bowman looks really, really good. Larry Grant looks like a capable starter at ILB and adds great depth and is also a good ST's player. Costanzo makes the team because of his ST's ability. Keaton Kristic could replace Wragge as the 53rd man on the roster as well.
Defensive Backs: (10) Carlos Rogers, Shawntae Spencer; Tarrell Brown; Chris Culliver; Tramaine Brock; Donte Whitner; Dashon Goldson; Madieu Williams; Reggie Smith; C.J Spillman
We could have two solid starting veteran corners in Rogers and Spencer IF Spencer can ever get healthy. T.Brown is a good nickel corner and can be a solid starter for a few games, but not more than that. Plus he has his own issues staying healthy. Chris Culliver looks like a big time player. Man was I wrong on him when we drafted him. He has jumped out in every pre-season game I have watched. Brock has had a lot of hype because supposedly he has looked good in TC but in the pre-season games he really has not impressed me. Phillip Adams would almost be a lock to make the team if he was fully healthy. Still, it could be tough to cut him and he may end up making the team. Our corner situation is very shaky. I do like our safeties. Donte Whitner has come right in and looked like he has been here for years and adds a very good tackling safety who also adds some much needed leadership to the back end. Goldson moves back to FS where he should be better suited. Madiue Williams though has outplayed Goldson in the pre-season. Reggie Smith could be a pretty good player IF he could ever stay healthy. C.J Spillman is a solid player. He adds good depth at safety and is a very good ST's player.
Special Teams (3) David Akers (K); Andy Lee (P); Brian Jennings (LS)
I think Wragge, Moran Norris and Applewhite are 50-50 to make the team. Maybe slightly less on Applewhite but like I said, I think we would add another OLB on the roster if he does not make the cut. Ian Williams Keaton Kristic could make the team over Wragge and Norris or vice versa. Phillip Adams could also sneak on to the roster.
[ Edited by PatrickJira411 on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM ]