From 90 to 53 (all 90 noted): some rationale at the end...
QB (3): Colin Kaepernick, Scott Tolzien and B.J. Daniels - think Tolzien is similar to Colt McCoy but much more experienced in our offense. B.J. is the perfect Russell Wilson-clone to practice against and can play ST.
RB (3): Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James; Marcus Lattimore (PUP) - Anthony Dixon, Jewel Hampton and D.J. Harper are gone. Marcus is red-shirted all year long.
FB (2): Bruce Miller and Alex Debniak - Jason Schepler is gone. Alex is the surprise win here.
WR (5): Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette; Mario Manningham (PUP) - Kyle Williams, Marlon Moore, Chad Hall, Joe Hastings, Chuck Jacobs all gone. Manningham is brought along slowly and Williams is cut d/t Jenkins/Patton and others excelling in the slot and on KR's.
TE (3): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald and MarQueis Gray (H-back) - Cameron Morrah and Garrett Celek are gone.
OT (4): Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Adam Snyder and Al Netter; Luke Marquardt (PUP) - Carter Bykowski and Kenny Wiggins are gone. Luke is brought along slowly (typical Niner-theme) but if healthy, could push Netter off the 53.
OG (3): Mike Iupati, Alex Boone and Daniel Kilgore - Wayne Tribue and Patrick Omameh are gone. Boone, Snyder, Kilgore and Looney can all play multiple positions.
C (2): Jonathan Goodwin and Joe Looney - Sherman Carter is gone. I would not be surprised to see Looney beat out Goodwin (late cut) with Kilgore backing him up; or Goodwin restructures to stay (ideal depth).
DE (4): Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Quinton Dial and Lawrence Okoye; Tank Carradine (PUP) - Demarcus Dobbs, Will Tukuafu and Tony Jerod-Eddie are gone. Tank is brought along slowly as well. They may keep Dobbs over Divens but we use the NT/DE positions as interchangeable a lot. So who adds more immediate value?
NT (3): Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams and Lamar Divens (6'3" 340) - Mike Purcell is gone and Divens is used against the power running teams and in goal line and short yardage situations.
OLB (4): Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier and Cam Johnson - Parys Haralson and Darius Fleming are gone. Cam shows he can seal the edge well AND pass rush making Haralson expendable.
ILB (4): Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Dan Skuta and Nick Moody - Michael Wilhoite and Nathan Stupar are gone.
CB (5): Tarell Brown, Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Culliver, Carlos Rogers and Marcus Cooper - Tramaine Brock, Perrish Cox, Lowell Rose and Darryl Morris are gone. Rogers restructures his contract after losing out to Nnamdi and Rose and Morris are stashed on the PS. Baalke wants bigger now...he got it in CB/depth and with Reid.
S (5): Donte Whitner, Eric Reid, Craig Dahl, C.J. Spillman and Trenton Robinson - Darcel McBath and Michael Thomas are gone.
Special Teams: (3)
PK: Phil Dawson
P: Andy Lee - Anthony Santella is gone
LS: Kevin McDermott - Brian Jennings is gone
Weaknesses/Miscellaneous: We still have not solved the SS issue with Whitner starting again (gave up 14 TD's last year alone) and I'm not sure if we have a quality slot CB matchup against specialists such as Harvin/Austin. NT is still a question as well but it appears we'll use more 4-man DL with plenty of rotation for all of the front 7. Scheme is the Theme this year. On offense, we should have even more weapons now with even more experience. Special Teams should be MUCH better from the PK to all the specialty athletes we have who can provide better coverage. Our PS will be used to develop some real gems as well. I have some surprises in my 53 but many will have speciality roles and can double on ST.
Tolzien and Daniels both make it? - Tolzien IS our experienced veteran (McCoy); he's just more experienced than McCoy in OUR (complex) offense and no pre-season is going to be enough to unseat Tolzien. THe coaching staff, IMHO, feels very comfortable with Tolzien should CK ever go down. And B.J. is another hand-picked QB by Harbaugh who adds in several other areas as well.
Dixon cut? - Dixon adds next to nothing in production but adds a ton in character and cheerleading/positivity. He's a good ST player. He barely made the team last year and this year he'll be gone.
2 FB's!?!?!?!?! - FB is an under-appreciated position and we've been "lucky" Miller has been healthy. But the coaching staff brought in TWO FB's this year b/c they know they need depth there just in case. With a full off season, I expect Roman will install a few more FB plays (like the long TD Miller had his rookie season). Both need to contribute on ST's though and be able to line up out of the Q. ANd Tukuafu is done here so if Miller does go down, who's his backup for Gore?
Kyle Williams cut? - This one can go any way and about 30 different directions. But I think we end up finding that James and others like AJ or Patton or others show more potential on returning kicks. Both AJ and Patton probably have more upside than Williams (and are healthier), this could be a surprise here. Then the question is, if you DON'T cut him, who do you cut between AJ and Patton? Lockette? Lockette is the most viable like-option behind our bigger WR's in Crabtree and Boldin. Period.
Gray over Morrah and Celek? - Gray has loads of talent and is already being moved all over the place. This dude is becoming the old H-back that Delanie Walker became and will be brought along slowly the same way. With Roman's Q formations, this guys is going to create WAY more mismatches than Morrah/Celek could ever bring...and he can be on the field at the same time VD and McDonald are! And really, what does Morrah/Celek really bring to our offense?
Okoye makes the 53 man? - Absolutely! The 47th-53rd position last year was reserved for a truck load of developmental players and many of them were at more technical positions such as RG, C, WR, etc. We're talking about a backup RDE behind Justin Smith and Tank Carradine. He's protected on the 53 and is there for insurance in case Tank needs more time as well. He'll be brought along slowly.
Dobbs and Tufuaku cut? - Dobbs played great with Aldon and if he is fully healthy he could really push a guy off or down the roster but he is going to have to play out of his mind. Tukuafu has no shot at all IMHO.
Haralson cut? - One thing the coaching staff has demonstrated is that they don't like one-dimensional players. In fact, name one currently on the roster. The last one is Haralson. He adds ZERO in pass rush and coverage and should Aldon go down, that is a MONSTER drop off in pass rush. If either Cam or Fleming demonstrate ANY kind of pass rush ability while also being above average in run defense, sealing the edge and show any additional skills in drop-back coverage, Haralson is gone. This team needs an OLB who is well-rounded and can step in for a starter. Also, with Haralson in, it signals he's in there for run defense only...it eliminates the unpredictability of the 3-4 pass rush.
Brock cut? - This is one I need more time to think about but I've been paying attention to Baalke and his obvious push for bigger, taller, stronger, faster, CB's who can play physical and in press (Cooper). Brock is an excellent ST. He's not a bad DB either. We signed him early for insurance to a LT deal. One option would be to keep both and push someone else off the roster. We probably should keep 6 CB's but then again, I have us carrying 5 S's and C.J. Spillman and Trenton Robinson may be able to play multiple positions.
[ Edited by NCommand on May 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM ]