53-man roster prediction

Here is my 53-man-roster prediction for Week 1:

1. Colin Kaepernick, QB.
2. Blaine Gabbert, QB.
3. McLeod Bethel-Thompson, QB.
4. Frank Gore, RB.
5. Kendall Hunter, RB.
6. LaMichael James, RB.
7. Carlos Hyde, RB.
8. Marcus Lattimore, RB.
9. Bruce Miller, FB.
10. Vernon Davis, TE.
11. Vance McDonald, TE.
12. Garrett Celek, TE.
13. Joe Staley, LT.
14. Mike Iupati, LG.
15. Daniel Kilgore, C.
16. Alex Boone, RG.
17. Anthony Davis, RT.
18. Jonathan Martin, OT.
19. Joe Looney, OG.
20. Marcus Martin, C.
21. Anquan Boldin, WR.
22. Michael Crabtree, WR.
23. Stevie Johnson, WR.
24. Quinton Patton, WR.
25. Bruce Ellington, WR.
26. Justin Smith, DT.
27. Glenn Dorsey, NT.
28. Ray McDonald, DE.
29. Demarcus Dobbs, DT.
30. Ian Williams, NT.
31. Tony Jerod-Eddie, DE.
32. Tank Carradine, DT.
33. Aldon Smith, DE.
34. Ahmad Brooks, OLB.
35. Dan Skuta, OLB.
36. Corey Lemonier, DE.
37. Aaron Lynch, DE.
38. Patrick Willis, ILB.
39. Chris Borland, ILB.
40. Michael Wilhoite, ILB.
41. Nick Moody, ILB.
42. Chris Culliver, LCB.
43. Tramaine Brock, RCB.
44. Eric Wright, CB.
45. Perrish Cox, CB.
46. Dontae Johnson, CB.
47. Eric Reid, FS.
48. Antoine Bethea, SS.
49. Jimmie Ward, nickel/S.
50. C.J. Spillman, S.
51. Phil Dawson, K.
52. Andy Lee, P.
53. Kevin McDermott, LS.

  1. you don’t think the Niners will continue to try to off load James? Doesn’t Ellington return kicks and punts?

    I also might say (as a VERY outside shot of happening…but possible) that Gore might be on the bubble because of his salary and if any of his skills have eroded after another year of wear and tear. It will depend on how Frank looks in camp, how the other backs look in camp and where they are in certain player negotiations.

    1. i also wonder if Loony might be on the bubble. he didn’t dress for many games last year and was leap frogged by Snyder on the depth chart immediately after Snyder was signed and the opportunity for playing time came up when Iupati was injured.

      1. In 2013 he had 8 returns. 5 kicks and 3 punts and he averaged 5.3 yards on the punt return.

        1. How much experience do you have returning punts?

          “I have a little bit of experience doing it. I did it in college. I did it a little bit in high school. So, I’m going to be comfortable doing it. I’m ready to come in and do whatever the coaches ask me to do, kick return, punt return, kickoff, punt, whatever it is I’m going to be ready to do.”

          Just looking at the stats, it looked like you’d only returned three punts in your college career. Is that accurate?

          “Yes, sir. That’s accurate. [South Carolina WR] Ace Sanders, he was our punt returner when I was playing there. So, you know how he is at that punt returner. He’s real good at it. So, I was a backup.”

          Are you comfortable handling punts?

          “Yes, sir.”

          1. I would expect that he will have the opportunity to compete with James for the KR/PR jobs, as will Kenneth Acker and UDFA L.J. McCray. Maybe others.

            James needs to win that competition to retain a roster spot.

  2. No Chris Cook? Everyone seems to be writing him off. He must improve but has raw talent. He also has great size and speed. There must be a chance that he can turn his career around … Unless I’m missing something. He’s still in the Niner’s plans, right? The decision to let Brown walk and not sign a bigger name CB in the draft might be because the coaches are excited about what Cook might offer. Maybe.

  3. Too bad it’s not soo much different than last year….I would of love to see an impact WR that can stretch the field and a CB that can cover the seachickens receivers we realy needed one of each…… I hope I’m wrong but it seems that we are going to do more of the same of the same obtaining the same result….. And what happen to Fales where did he went? Two weeks before the drat the experts said he fit the NINERS offense!!!! Oh Mr Walsh how much we miss you!!!!,

    1. Chicago Bears.
      We are not the same as last year. We are much deeper. And much better.
      But, imho, not as better as I expected to see.

    2. Fire Greg Roman..Get a fresh pair of eyes on the offense..You’ll see a tremendous difference..Roman is holding the the offense back.not creative enough..

      1. Except that Roman works for Harbaugh, a head coach with an offensive background. So presumably he approves of what Roman is doing. No doubt Harbaugh is a miracle worker and a great football coach. But I have to say that his conservative approach on offense has disappointed me a bit. Still, three NFC title games in three years. But fans can get frustrated with “Shottenheimer’s disease” Still, Bill Cowher finally won a SB.

        1. Yeah kezar.but Roman is sequencing the playcalling..I see patterns..Harbaugh is a loyal guy..he’s sticking with roman for friendship sake..but I have a hardtime believing that Harbaugh is passing up the chance to improve his offense and scoring..just so he can ground and pound every week..and play nailbiters

          1. I think you’ll see a big difference now that we’ll be able to run successfully on 3rd and short/goal line running. Makes a huge difference for a run based team

    3. Not sure what league you’ve been watching but Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd have PROVEN they can stretch the field and each has two 1000 yard seasons out of their last three. Check the first pass on this video. 2012 – Brandon Lloyd. Then tell me he doesn’t stretch the field.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3XbN3iNEs8

      1. Boldin has been a more productive downfield threat than Johnson. Lloyd probably won’t make the team.

        1. Its not JUST about the deep ball Grant. SJ is one of the best, if not the best WRs in the entire league in defeating press coverage. He’s a route-running demon. So know, he may not be a true deep threat but he gets open consistently. And one thing you need in a division where you face Sherman, Peterson, and Jenkins twice a year is a guy who can not only get off the line, but get off the line and create separation. That’s excatly what SJ brings to the table. He’s the ONLY WR I ever saw that CONSISENTLY got open on Revis Island during his Jets days. So if your DC, who do you leave double? SJ? Crabs? Boldin? VD? His presence creates alot of zone looks. That means bigger windows for CK

        2. I think Patton should be scared. I think Lloyd makes it. He will impress! If they had confidence in Patton, they wouldn’t have brought all these others in!

    4. What are you talking about? we got Stevie Johnson who killed the Seattle secondary last time he played them (with a crappy qb) basically for free, we drafted a speedy WR in Ellington who has the same intangibles as Brandin Cooks, and we picked up a safety/CB who is a ball hawk and can play all over the field.

      Also added was a huge Center in Martin and future OG (Thomas), along with a OLB in Lynch (was regarded as a 1st rd talent while at ND) and we are set up for the future! Bill Walsh would be proud!

    5. What? We had a fantastic draft. Also, last year it really didn’t seem like Kap had more than 2 secs. to throw the ball before the defenders were in his face. I know that Iupati was injured pretty much the whole season, but stretch the field how?

  4. Way too early of course, but what the heck.

    1. Colin Kaepernick, QB.
    2. Blaine Gabbert, QB.
    3. McLeod Bethel-Thompson, QB.
    4. Frank Gore, RB.
    5. Kendall Hunter, RB.
    6. Carlos Hyde, RB.
    7. Marcus Lattimore, RB.
    8. Bruce Miller, FB.
    9. Vernon Davis, TE.
    10. Vance McDonald, TE.
    11. Garrett Celek, TE.
    12. Joe Staley, OT.
    13. Mike Iupati, OG.
    14. Daniel Kilgore, C.
    15. Alex Boone, OG.
    16. Anthony Davis, OT.
    17. Jonathan Martin, OT.
    18. Joe Looney, OG.
    19. Marcus Martin, C.
    20. Anquan Boldin, WR.
    21. Michael Crabtree, WR.
    22. Stevie Johnson, WR.
    23. Quinton Patton, WR.
    24. Bruce Ellington, WR.
    25. Justin Smith, DT/DE.
    26. Glenn Dorsey, NT.
    27. Ray McDonald, DT/DE.
    28. Tank Carradine, DT/DE.
    29. Ian Williams, NT.
    30. Quinton Dial, DT/DE.
    31. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB.
    32. Ahmad Brooks, DE/OLB.
    33. Dan Skuta, OLB.
    34. Corey Lemonier, DE/OLB.
    35. Aaron Lynch, DE/OLB.
    36. Patrick Willis, ILB.
    37. Chris Borland, ILB.
    38. Nick Moody, ILB.
    39. Shayne Skov, ILB.
    40. Chris Culliver, CB.
    41. Tramaine Brock, CB.
    42. Eric Wright, CB.
    43. Chris Cook, CB
    44. Dontae Johnson, CB.
    45. Darryl Morris, CB.
    46. Eric Reid, FS.
    47. Antoine Bethea, SS.
    48. Jimmie Ward, S/CB.
    49. C.J. Spillman, S.
    50. Bubba Ventrone, S
    51. Phil Dawson, K.
    52. Andy Lee, P.
    53. Kevin McDermott, LS.

    1. nice list, I think a little closer than boy wonder’s.

      Agree that Dial is on over TJE, but Skov over Wilhoite? Skuta and Lynch should have a good camp battle. Is Marquart our next Boone, or will he lose out to Martin/Looney.

      The main things that will determine who stays/goes will be:
      1) Lattimore’s knee
      2) who will return kicks w/o James… i.e. is Kendall the one in jeapardy, not LMJ?
      3) can Ellington be our back up as a KR/PR
      4) will one of the CBs like Cox be able to fill in for those duties?
      5) 3 QBs or 2… keep the third guy on the PS, no one’s trying to sign MBThompson

      Don’t think we’ll keep Ventrone, and maybe even Osgood. I doubt B Lloyd sticks… and our big red zone target

      1. …our red zone target is already on the roster in Baldwin. Hope he can play ST as a gunner, otherwise he’s probably gone. Too bad, cuz he’s such a specimen and had quite a few potential big plays that just missed b/c he landed with a toe out of bounds or something to that effect

    2. Good call on Skov, Eric Wright, and Chris Cook. I think all three of them make the team.

      I don’t think they will carry 3 QBs, however. Instead of the 3rd QB, they can keep LMJ.

      1. If they keep only 2 QBs then either Acker or LMJ will likely stick as the return man. In my list I’m assuming Ellington or Patton handle those duties, but that’s probably ambitious. It may be that one of Acker or LMJ stick ahead of Ventrone anyway, though with Wright and Cook not bringing any STs coverage value I’d go with keeping either Ventrone or Osgood on the roster.

    3. Thank you for putting Darryl Morris in there!! He is FAST .As an Undrafted guy last year He’s been gradually working his way in on ST.I like him !

      1. Yeah, I really liked his work as a gunner last year. I think he makes the team based on STs value, but he’s also a decent depth guy at CB.

    4. All these speculation the 49ers are better than last season. Until all this young group of player show progression as a professional football in the NFL nothing is going to matter. I still think our rivals the Rams and Cards got better.

    1. I agree. Osgood is the best ST on the roster. They inactivated him for a week last year and it cost us.

  5. QB
    Blaine Gabbert $2.011m base ($2.011m dead money)
    McLeod Bethel-Thompson $570k ($0)
    Rook: Kory Faulkner (UDFA)
    Me: 2nd- & 3rd-stringers are costing above the league average.

    RB
    Kendall Hunter $645k base ($109.8k dead money)
    LaMichael James $641.71k ($426.87k)
    Jewel Hampton $495k ($0)
    Marcus Lattimore $420k ($225.43k)
    Rook: Carlos Hyde (R1)
    Me: Hunter & James have ST value, but plausibly expendable as well.

    FB
    Will Tukuafu $645k base ($0 dead money)
    Me: Too expensive to carry a reserve.

    WR
    Stevie Johnson $3.65m base ($0 dead money)
    Kassim Osgood $955k ($0)
    Brandon Lloyd $955k ($0)
    David Reed $730k ($0)
    Jon Baldwin $645k ($0k)
    Devon Wylie $495k ($0)
    Quinton Patton $495k ($0)
    Chuck Jacobs $420k ($0)
    Rook: Bruce Ellington/RS (R4)
    Me: Notably, no dead money for backups. Time for Patton to challenge Osgood, a 3-time Pro Bowl ST.

    TE
    Garrett Celek $570k base ($2k dead money)
    Vance McDonald $518.59k ($1.266m)
    Derek Carrier $495k ($0)
    Rook: Asante Cleveland (UDFA)
    Me: Looks like overpaying for 3rd TE again.

    OL
    Adam Synder $1.0m base ($250k dead money)
    Jonathan Martin $824.93k ($0)
    Joe Looney $570k ($212.6k)
    Ryan Seymour $495k ($0)
    Carter Bykowski $420k ($0)
    Luke Marquardt $420k ($3.33k)
    Al Netter $420k ($0)
    Rook: Marcus Martin/OC (R3), Dillon Farrell/OC (UDFA), Fou Fonoti/RT (UDFA)
    Me: Snyder or Looney is likely on the bubble if team doesn’t keep 9 OLs.

    DL
    DeMarcus Dobbs $1.431m base ($0 dead money)
    Ian Williams $950k ($666.66k)
    Tank Carradine $579,895 ($2.063m)
    Quinton Dial $495k ($136.23k)
    Tony Jerod-Eddie $495k ($0)
    Christian Tupou $495k ($0)
    Lawrence Okoye $420k ($2k)
    Mike Purcell $420k ($0)
    Rook: Kaleb Ramsey (R7)
    Me: Dobbs (RFA tender not guaranteed) & Williams cost too much as reserves, & with the depth at hand.

    IB
    Dan Skuta $1.3m base ($150k dead money)
    Michael Wilhoite $570k ($0)
    Corey Lemonier $505k ($135k)
    Nick Moody $495k ($80.75k)
    Rook: Chris Borland/IB (R3), Aaron Lynch/OB (R5), Morgan Breslin/OB (UDFA), Shayne Skov/IB (UDFA)
    Me: None can cover a TE well to be Willis’s insurance. Many incoming fallen stars/damaged goods (Lynch, Breslin, Skov) too.

    CB
    Eric Wright $855k base ($0 dead money)
    Chris Cook $730k ($0)
    Perrish Cox $645k ($10k)
    Darryl Morris $495k ($0)
    Rook: Dontae Johnson/FS (R4), Kenneth Acker/RS (R6)
    Me: Team just needs a viable dime back, but Johnson is likely too raw to challenge the higher-priced vets. Acker, Ellington & McCray will double at RS, where Cox & Hunter (but not Patton) can KR too.

    DS
    CJ Spillman $1.225m base ($308.33k dead money)
    Ray Ventrone $855k ($0)
    Craig Dahl $825k ($831.66k)
    DJ Campbell $570k ($0)
    Rook: Jimmie Ward/SS (R1), LJ McCray/SS-KR (UDFA).
    Me: Vet kick-coverage aces were worth the higher budgets. Dahl has hefty dead money, though.

    ST
    Colton Schmidt $420k base ($0 dead money)
    Me: NA.

    1. You should probably learn that bruce miller is the starting FB and that gore is more likely to get cut than hunter before you continuing on with your list as this is where I stopped reading due to it being based on faulty logic

  6. Manc
    If I’m reading this correctly, you just sent us back to the dark ages with your penny pinching method.

    No Kaep, Gore, Crabtree, and Boldin just to name some starters you excluded.
    Major head scratcher bud.

    1. Inconsistent player that took a year off from football. It’s questionable if he even makes the team.

  7. We will only carry 2 QBs. I can’t believe how many good football players we are going to have to let go. And our practice squad is going to get raded again this year.

    1. Agreed. Does anyone really expect McBLT to make this team? With so much excess talent across the board, why would we hold a valuable roster spot for a scrub QB with zero chance of ever playing?

      If Bethel-Thompson ever steps foot on the field in a regular season game, it means we’re screwed.

  8. Niners run a 3-4 D, not a 4-3. 10 D-lineman and 6 LB’s is, as Harbaugh would tell you, “erroneous.”

    1. Niners run a 3-4 D, not a 4-3.

      Not according to Grant; he insists that it’s a 4-3 Under. Never give up!! Never surrender!! Of course, Fangio says that it’s a 3-4, but what does he know?

      Just switch Aldon Smith, Lemonier and Lynch to OLB and Justin Smith and Tank Carradine to to DE. That should fix it.

      1. How can you consider Justin Smith a DE when he rushes against a guard’s outside shoulder? He’s a three-technique, which is a DT.

        1. Grant, you gave Baalke an F for his draft grade……but you fail to mention what a genius this man is. Why have you not given credit where credit is due!?!

          Baalke has found a way to manipulate NFL rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          All teams have a 53 man roster. In order to keep the rights to a player, he must be on the 53 man roster. You can gamble…..try to put a guy on the practice squad….but then you must put him on waivers, were every other team has a chance to pick him up!!!! But, the new team must make him part of their 53 man roster.

          Baalke stashes guys on the PUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His roster is actually 56 or 57! thus creating a distinct advantage for us! Instead of wasting picks, he picks studs that fell due to injuries and hides them on this list that no other team seems to be taking advantage of! Genius !

        2. It’s always been my understanding the outside players on the line of scrimmage are defensive ends, whether it’s a 3-4 or 4-3. With a 3-4 the player in the middle is a nose tackle. With a 4-3 the two players in the middle are defensive tackles. Correct me if I’m wrong.

          What does which guard’s shoulder he rushes on have to do with it? Showing off your technical expertise?

          Geeez Grant, grow up.

          1. Defensive ends don’t rush against guards. Defensive ends rush against tackles. Aldon Smith is the outside player on the line of scrimmage and he rushes against the left tackle. Justin Smith plays the same position Warren Sapp played for the Bucs.

            1. I’m looking at it from the standpoint of the tag you put on the relative position of the players in a certain (3-4 or 4-3) defensive formation, which I believe is the conventional wisdom.

              You have introduced the concept of who they are rushing against, which is either a breakthrough in thinking or misguided (I vote for the latter).

              In a 3-4 the defensive end will usually engage the offensive guard, in a 4-3 the tackle, though there may be variations and exceptions. It’s complicated.

              How often have you heard anyone but yourself refer to Aldon Smith as a defense end. He is constantly referred to as an outside linebacker.

              1. The conventional 3-4/4-3 distinction is dumbed down for public consumption. Making it about who’s standing up and who’s got a hand in the dirt is silly.

  9. Hee hee, Peterson thinks he’s worth more then Sherman. Have fun with that Arizona.

  10. Probably only 2 QBs this season…. Likely keep Faulkner on the p-squad.

    Too many RBs. I’d say hunter or James out. I’m really hoping Latt is full go this year.

    I don’t see us holding on to Moody. He’s a solid ST player, but I wonder if they plan to use Borland in that role instead.

    Everything else is good. They better be very careful who they cut this year for the PS. I don’t want another Cooper incident.

      1. “Something seems awfully familiar though…”

        Yeah, kind of like that feeling I get when I read comments by E, lol.

        1. I shouldn’t jump to conclusions though.
          .
          Maybe Gin is just echoing Leo’s thoughts on the matter.
          .
          Could happen…
          .
          .
          .
          ~ALOHA~

          1. Or it is entirely possible that there was some independent thought involved. It does happen believe it or not, lol.

      2. @ KauaiRobert Hahahaha wow I’m good…

        Seriously I never even read the examiner….or do I (shifty eyes)???

  11. I spoke to a buddy of mine last night who lives in Berkeley, Rick……He has 2 season tickets to Raiders games. They suck so bad that he couldn’t give away two tickets to a game he wasn’t able to attend last year. So Rick went to the Eastmont mall in Oakland, he parked and decided to leave the 2 tickets under his windshield wiper. “And that worked?” I asked him.

    “Not exactly,” said Rick. “I returned to find 6 more tickets to the same game.”

    1. good stuff!

      Wouldn’t doubt it has happened or could happen?

      But if you talk to any Raider fan now they would swear they are going to the SB

  12. Is Corey Lemonier a career backup or is he good enough to take over for Aldon or Brooks at some point? Seems like the Carradine and Lynch picks may indicate the 9ers aren’t happy with the mix they have at those spots.

    1. Carradine will be a DE, and playing inside in the nickle so his selection has nothing to do with the outside linebackers/rush ends in nickle.

      Watching Lynch in college, he looked at his best when playing inside as well. He’s an interesting player, can see him moving inside or out to help with the pass rush.

      1. Jack, are you saying Carradine will play the 3 technique or the 5 technique. Quite often Smith drops in to play the 3 technique. I’m not sure Carradine has the size for that spot at this point.

        1. Reports are that Carradine has bulked up quite a bit. He’s going to be playing inside.

    2. Carradine is Cowboy’s replacement…I’m not sure what you mean here?

      And I’d imagine with Aldon’s immediate future unknown, the more pass rushers the better….hence the Lynch pick

      1. Leo – exactly… this is from last year’s combine, which he did within like 5 months of an ACL surgery:

        Height: 6′ 4″
        Weight: 276
        Arm Length: 34¾”
        Hand Size: 10¼”
        10 Yard Dash: 1.63
        40 Yard Dash: 4.75
        Bench Press: 28

        And here’s Justin Smith from 2001:
        Height: 6′ 4″
        Weight: 267
        40 Yard Dash: 4.64
        Bench Press: 26
        Vertical Jump: 34″
        Broad Jump: 117″

        1. Wow I wasn’t even aware Tank participated at all….I just assumed with an ACL injury in Nov, there was no way.

          Wow 4.75 5 months after surgery…guys a monster. He’s probably the one I most excited to see play on the defense. I hope he can stay healthy. He should be pretty active in the rotation I would think.

    3. I don’t thik the Carradine selection last year had anything to do with OLB. I think Carradine was drafted to be Justin Smith’s eventual replacement at 3-4 DE and to replace McDonald when the 49ers go 4-2-5 on passing downs.

      I view Lynch as competition for Lemonier to succeed Brooks and as additional insurance in case Aldon Smith misses more than a couple of games. I’m not sure it’s possible to have too many guys with superior pass rush skills.

      1. And that’s what I get for pausing a comment to take a phone call and not refreshing before posting the comment. Sorry for wasting your time.

      2. Not saying you guys are wrong on Carradine being Smith’s replacement but I’ve heard conflicting reports on how he will be used. I thought at one time he might be able to be an OLB to replace Brooks or Aldon but he has the versatility to drop down to interior line. I’m just not sure he’s heavy enough to take on that assignment right now. Below is an article on it. Is it me or does Carradine look a bit like TO?

        http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1960023-tank-carradine-the-next-great-starter-on-the-san-francisco-49ers-defense

  13. Las Vegas Super Bowl 2015 prediction

    Vegas sportsbook Bovada posted the Seahawks at 6-to-1 to win next year’s Super Bowl, with the oddsmakers listing the Denver Broncos just behind at 7-to-1, favoring a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII that saw the Seahawks routing the Broncos 43-8.

    Bovada also has the Seahawks at 15-to-4 to win the NFC Championship, with the San Francisco 49ers just behind at 4-to-1.

  14. Highlights of Kory Faulkner are sparse. I found one with some bad 1979 theme music and shaky camera work. He has a fast release, accurate, size and foot speed. None of the highlights show him throwing from a collapsing pocket, so its almost like watching a practice, but I can see why they have him in camp. Could he threaten McLeod Bethel-Thompson?

    1. Niner Jay,
      Not exactly a ringing endorsement for either Lynch or the 49ers FO. But as far as Lynch dropping to the 5th rd he has himself to blame.

      I’m a little disturbed with the ‘buyer beware’ label put on Lynch and I hope that he can work himself back to a place of respectability.

      Sadly (at least imo), it seems that as long as you can get 12-15 sacks in 49er’ville respectability and high character have minimal value.

    2. Obviously the USF strength and conditioning coach hasn’t been paying much attention to the 49ers lately.

      1. Jack, something seems odd about this. Hans Straub was San Diego State’s S&C coach up until Harbaugh left, then was the S&C at Stanford until Harbaugh left and is now working for Willie Taggart as the S&C who was Harbaugh’s asst. coach at Stanford. It’s almost like there is something personal going on here.

        1. Another connection is that Straub is a Towson graduate and the 49ers brought in Towson RB Terrance West for a visit, but didn’t draft him. Probably doesn’t mean anything, but it does make me wonder if there could be some bad feelings going on.

  15. Okoye practice squad or off the team? Another fake knee injury to NFI another season?

  16. Why is cone writing instead of coaching or being a GM? He is obviously smarter than anyone out there!

  17. I don’t see Perrish Cox making the team over Daryl Morris. Morris is young, has top-tier speed, and made standout plays on special teams last year. (“like an arrow through snow,” anyone?) You can’t give up that potential for a guy who was cut last year.

    I also hope Bethel-Thompson doesn’t make the 53. I saw him play in college and he single-handedly won a game…for Notre Dame (when ND started 0-5). He was that bad.

    1. I was at that game against Notre Dame. Bethel-Thompson has improved a lot since then. He has a cannon and he’s smart.

      Cox very well may win the slot CB job coming out of training camp. He was the 49ers’ best slot corner in the playoffs last season.

      1. Grant i do’nt see him as the nickle corner but as the dime back. Its funny a week or so ago when i said the 9ers should trade LMJ and Cox should return you said the could’nt rely on someone who likely would’nt make the team. Now a week later you are saying he very well may win the nickle slot.

      2. Ok then maybe Morris over E. Wright? Keeping one of those guys over Morris seems too similar to keeping Nnamdi over Cooper last year.

        I was at that game as well, very good atmosphere at the Rose Bowl…and I’d hope McBLT has improved a lot since then!

    2. I believe P. Cox is a lock. The team showed how they feel about him during the playoffs last year and he showed how well he can play during the playoffs. I also see him taking over the return duties from LMJ.

      1. I was thinking Borland could be one, too.

        Also, who gets the starting job until Bowman returns? I think Wilhoite gets the nod at the beginning of the season, but gets replaced by Borland by the 3rd or 4th game.

  18. Just to show how overrated speed is, one of the best deep threats last year was Riley Cooper and he ran a 4.52…..

  19. speaking of predictions
    (here is one which you can count on)

    I will remain firmly affixed to Coach Harbaw’s back
    until the day he leads the Niners to victory and
    brings home Lombardi trophy #6.
    (suggestion: ….do not hold your breath, okay?….)

    1. Sometime i agree with you. You’re right on harbaugh needing to win a SB. All the wins and making the playoffs in the previous year isn’t going to matter if harbugh don’t win the big one.

  20. Somebody call Trent Baalke and tell him to give up some draft picks for this guy. He would immediately turn the 9ers receiving corps into the best in the league. If the 9ers got Stevie Johnson for his performance against the Seahawks then you should see what Andre Johnson did to Richard Sherman when the Texans played the Seahawks last year. Johnson physically dominated Sherman the entire game and he did it with Matt Schaub throwing him the ball. Sherman was the hero at the end of that game because Schaub made a horrible decision but I was at the game and Johnson made Sherman his female dog for 4 quarters. It didn’t matter if Andre was blocking him or if he was dominating him in the passing game – Andre Johnson looked like a man playing against a middle schooler. Baalke should make a call to O’Brien and Rick Smith right now.

    http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2014/05/frustrated-andre-johnson-wonders-is-this-still-the-place-for-me/#23243101=0

    1. Trade Crabtree for Andre straight up! Crab goes back to Texas and we get the guy that can put us completely over the top.

      1. Yep, 49ers need a WR that will be 33 in July so they can have the oldest #1 and #2 tandem in the NFL. Let’s totally ignore future needs at the position just for the sake of having players that do well against one CB in the league. ;)

        1. Yeah, Andre Johnson is terrible. He only does well against the Seahawks which he’s only played every 4 years in his career. Damn those eight 1,000 yard seasons playing in horrible offenses with horrible QB’s. You’re right – he’s no good.

          1. Houston Grant was saying earlier that getting 1000 yards on a bad team is meaningless. Now understand that was Grant saying that not me.

        2. 109 catches for Mr Johnson last year.. 33 years old man he can’t play anymore. This trade makes perfect sense considering Crabtree is going to be extremely difficult to resign. Ya your right space forget about winning the SB! It’s overrated…

          1. Wow, you two really like putting words in other people’s mouths, don’t you, lol. When did I mention SB? And I guess you didn’t see my “wink” either?

            1. No I was just focusing on the “Let’s totally ignore future needs at the position just for the sake of having players that do well against one CB in the league” comment. Andre Johnson is one of the great receivers in this league and I believe a future Hall of Famer who still has a couple of great years left. If he wants out of Houston then I think the 9ers would be crazy not to make that call.

              1. Houston, you have to build for the future as well as trying to win now. 49ers just added Stevie Johnson who has given fits to both Sherman and Revis and whom many think will be the key to “putting the 49ers over the top.” I think the trio of Crabtree, Boldin and Johnson will give DC’s enough problems. But as with you, it is just my opinion.

                Thanks for the response.

        3. That’s a legit trade. Even the team does have the oldest tandem it would still be one of the best. Not to mention many think Crabtree is gone after this year anyway. We could still get 2-3 more young recievers for the future and let them learn under Johnson and Boldin. Doesn’t seem like a bad group to learn from.

          1. The debate of this blog for the last couple days is that Crabtree, boldin, s. Johnson are too similar. Andre can do it all.. He still has 3 strong years left and is dieing to win a SB.. This is a no brainer. Makes too much sense from both sides.

      2. Just for the record, I’m not advocating trading Crabs for Johnson straight up. I’d like to keep Crabs and pair him and Johnson with Boldin being the 3rd receiver. I might package Jon Baldwin, LMJ, and maybe a 3rd rounder for Johnson and see if they bite. Texans need players and picks.

        1. We can’t afford that Houston. That’s way too big of a log jam. Crab has to be included in the trade.

          1. From a salary cap perspective you might be right. From an on-field production perspective having AJ, Crabs, Boldin, and VD on the field at the same time would probably cause most DC’s to want to chose different professions.

          1. For Jon Baldwin, LMJ and the 10th pick in the 3rd rd, i might give you the 9th pick in the 3rd rd. Then again for taking on their salaries i might give you a 4th rd pick.

              1. Rocket, what’s that SB contender discount going to be from Johnson? I know he won’t care about losing that base salary of 6.5, 10.5 and 11 million he was going to get over the next three years. 4 million a year sound about right? LOL.

        2. ‘I might package Jon Baldwin, LMJ, and maybe a 3rd rounder for Johnson and see if they bite. Texans need players and picks.’
          .
          .
          You do know that this is REAL football and not FANTASY football, right?
          .
          .
          .
          ~ALOHA~

      3. Why are the 49er’s brass love taking garbage from other teams? Whoever the 49ers get in the FA market it’s not going to matter out team still choke when it counts. We had the chance to grab Qb Garopolo and by passing him. I hate to say this, but I don’t think Kaep will be the one who will bring San Francisco the 6th SB championship.

  21. I didnt see kasim osgood… Do we really wanna scrafice a hell of a special teams player? You saw when we didnt resign our specialist last 2 years ago..

  22. The thing to look at here is how absolutely loaded with talent this team is from top to bottom. It really is scary. I think we are going to handle the Seachickens more easily than people think this year. I still maintain they got worse this year. Can’t wait to be proven right…again (When Grant said we would go like 8-8 early last year when we were struggling and I said, 12-4 all day).

    1. Except for CB, the roster is amazing. Next time we play Seattle in their house, I think we are going to finish the job.

      1. Punt return has been an ongoing problem without Ginn. A ball control team with a good defense that revolves around “Winning at least 2 or the 3 phases of a game” needs a more secure punt returner.

        1. Ted Ginn averaged less per punt return with the Niners the previous season than LMJ did this year. LMJ is just starting to learn the nuances of the position and was 10th overall in Yards per return. We have to exercise a little patience here.

          1. THANK YOU!
            .
            Now, if LMJ becomes a problem because he thinks he should have more carries and isn’t happy with his ST role…that’s another issue altogether.
            .
            .
            .
            ~ALOHA~

    1. If someone else can prove themselves returning punts, I don’t see why they would keep him.

      1. I’d like to see Patton given a shot this year. He’s good with the football in hand in open space.

        1. Scooter,
          I agree with your take on QP.

          Because of his injury last season we were unable to get a good gauge on him.
          It may be a struggle for Patton to receive any quality minutes this coming season especially with Stevie Johnson being penciled in as the 3rd WR.

          Patton now has veteran B.Lloyd and rookie B.Ellington (w/Ellington likely his biggest competition) to compete with.
          It will be interesting times in TC.

  23. QB (2) – Kap and Gabbert

    RB/FB (5) – Gore, Hyde, Lattimore, LMJ, Miller

    TE (3) – Davis, McDonald, Celek

    WR (5) – Boldin, Crabtree, Johnson, Patton, Ellington

    Oline (8) – Staley, Iupati, Kilgore, Boone, Davis, Martin, Martin, Looney,

    Dline (7) – Smith, Dorsey, McDonald, Carradine, Dial, Jerod-Eddie, Dobbs

    OLB (4) – Brooks, Smith, Skuta, Lemonier

    ILB (5) – Willis, Borland, Wilhoite, Moody, Skov

    CB (7) – Culliver, Brock, Ward, Cook, Johnson, Wright, Cox

    S (4) – Reid, Bethea, Dahl, Spillman

    ST’s (3) – Dawson, Lee, McDermott

    1. Don’t see Ian Williams making the roster? I think he will. He won the starting NT job last year. Not sure they keep 7 DL this season though. Too much talent across the board this year when they only typically suit up 5 DL.

      I’d rather keep Morris than Cox because Morris looked good as a gunner last season.

      1. I just forgot about Williams. He would make it over Dobbs. I think they keep 7 Dlineman knowing Carradine is coming back from a severe injury and the age of Smith.

        Morris was ok, but I think they keep as many vet CB’s as they can to start the season due to the uncertainty around Culliver and the fact they will have two rookies on the roster as well.

        Between Moody, Borland, Spillman, Johnson and Dahl, they will have some good candidates for the gunner position and replacements for Ventrone and Osgoode who offer nothing as position players.

        1. I dont know about that. You just dont replace great special teams players. You saw what happened to our special unit when we let blake constazo walk. Our unit was nowhere near the same talent

      2. I was going to say the same thing about Ian.
        .
        Unless they think that Dorsey is entrenched at the Nose, I think they keep Williams.
        .
        I mean, they extended him for a reason.
        .
        The kids got talent.
        .
        .
        .
        ~ALOHA~

  24. Just saw big Joe at CalMart the local grocery store here in town. I guess he gave up on trying to sell the property that he has around here. With what he was asking Im not surprised.

  25. Grant, any word on when the first rookie mini-camp will be? I’m looking forward to that first scathing report on Ward and Hyde that we all know is coming, lol.

      1. Thanks, Jack, so OTA’s start a couple of days later. Well, that should give us some things to talk about — and for Grant to write about.

      1. Grant, I thought it might only take a tap in a goal-line drill to get you to say he is a terrible short-yardage back and one TD against Ward in a drill that would get you to say he was the wrong pick in the draft.

        Just messin’ with you a bit, Grant, hope you know that.

    1. Wow, that 2012 draft class was awful. 7 picks and not one player. Is this the worst draft class in 49er history? This happened just 2 years ago. It’s amazing most of these players couldn’t even play out their contracts.

      1 (30) – A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois (Now plays for KC)
      2 (61) – LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Trade value is around PBnJ level)
      4 (117) – Joe Looney, OG, Wake Forest (Probably makes 2014 squad)
      5 (165) – Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame (Cut)
      6 (180) – Trent Robinson, FS, Michigan State (Cut)
      6 (199) – Jason Slowey, OL, Western Oregon (Out of the NFL)
      7 (237) – Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia (Now plays for Indi)

        1. Yes it was and that is probably one of the reasons he’s made so many picks the last two years to compensate.

      1. Awful. Looney may be the only one who actually contributes, even if he only provides quality depth. James probably keep just for return duty. Sad b/c I really think this guy has talent.

        At least Cam got us another pick, so that was a wash. And I wonder what Fleming would have developed into without the injuries.

        At least it was only 7 picks instead of 11 or 12 like we had this year or 2011.

  26. CBSSports is reporting that Marcus Lattimore made a statement that he does not have his first step burst as of yet.

    By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

    May 12, 2014 1:57 pm ET

    Marcus Lattimore is no longer a hot commodity in Fantasy. (USATSI) Marcus Lattimore is no longer a hot commodity in Fantasy. (USATSI)

    49ers running back Marcus Lattimore was one of the hotter names just a couple weeks ago. Glowing reports about his knee rehab accumulated this offseason, Jamey Eisenberg included Lattimore in his Early Sleepers column, and Lattimore seemingly had a great opportunity playing behind aging Frank Gore.

    In early drafts on MyFantasyLeague.com, Lattimore was being taken as the 30th RB, ahead of Maurice Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings, Toby Gerhart and Steven Jackson.

    Not anymore. Lattimore’s fade began when he admitted this month he still lacks the first-step burst and explosiveness he had in college. Then the 49ers somewhat surprisingly spent a second-round pick on Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde, a 230-pound back with a violent running style.

    It was a clear sign the 49ers are worried about Gore, who turns 31 on Wednesday and averaged 3.4 yards over his final six games. And it showed a total lack of confidence in Lattimore.

    Of course, GM Trent Baalke denied the pick reflected on Lattimore, saying Hyde was a “great value” pick who will create tough competition at running back. Baalke did label Hyde a potential successor to Gore, who’s on the last year of his contract.

    “I think you can look at it that way in some respects,” Baalke told the team’s website. “But the bottom line is (Hyde) was the best player available.”

    Hyde’s selection won’t affect Kendall Hunter as much as Lattimore. Hunter is a smaller, shiftier back slated for a change-of-pace role.

    Baalke compared Hyde to Gore.

    “He’s not a home-run hitter every time he touches the ball, but he’s capable just as Frank has been capable over his career to break some long runs,” Baalke said. “He runs our style of offense very well.

    “He’s got great vision. He’s got great feet and he runs with his pads low. He can make the offensive line better and that’s what you’re looking for in running backs.”

    Baalke noted Hyde has the size and strength to excel in pass protection and can make defenders miss at all level of the defense.

    Though Lattimore should still be retained in dynasty leagues, he’s no longer worth a pick in redraft leagues. Hyde should be drafted in all leagues as a Gore handcuff who could emerge with serious value at any point this season.

    Topics: Carlos Hyde, Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore, San Francisco 49ers, NFL

    Obviously, this story is wrapped more around the fantasy league prospects, but the highlight in this article (for me) is that Lattimore himself is saying that his first step burst isn’t where it was when he was in college.
    This is quite a revelation because it changes the 49ers how the 49ers will have to approach their RB roster going forward.

    If Lattimore is not completely healthy by TC, do the 49ers try to put him on IR or move on without him?
    Lattimore’ progress will be one of the most interesting situations in TC.

    1. This is very discouraging news. I definitely think a talent like Latt’s doesn’t come around too often, so I understand why Baalke thought he was worth the risk. I really hope the guy can get it together by TC.

      If not I could see him going to IR, and maybe seeing if anything changes later on.

      1. The silver lining might be that the potential problem presented itself early enough the the team was able to be proactive rather then forced to be reactive in the middle of the season. With that said, I’m not exactly the biggest Hyde proponent so hopefully they picked up the right insurance policy.

        1. I would not be surprised to see Hyde have the kind of success in his rookie season Bar-None had!

  27. I think they move on from Lattimore if he’s not the same this year, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him retire….

  28. <3 Conan

    "After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam celebrated by kissing his boyfriend. This is historic because it's the first time anyone has celebrated being drafted by the St. Louis Rams."

    1. The funny thing is I don’t think I have seen anybody EVER kiss somebody when they got drafted. Was this all staged or what?

  29. I hope Borland is good not just for the sake of the team but so we can call him T-Rex.

    1. I predict he wins the starting job until Bowman returns. Harbaugh compares the strike he puts on an opponent to that of a bowling ball striking the pins. The 49ers 2nd Round draft pick, El Guapo can attest to this “strike”…….

      1. Agree with that Razor. The T-Rex and Wilhoite will have quite a battle in the preseason.

        1. I look forward to these “battles” which will serve themselves well in preparation for the 2014 campaign…..

  30. Grant, I’ve just started reading your blogs. Out of curiosity I looked at some old ones. On May 27 under the title of, “Your mission….Mr. Baalke”, you predicted how the GM would conduct the draft. You were 100% wrong. I understand last year when the Niners got off to a slow start you predicted they would finish 8-8.

    I’m going to give you a piece of respectful friendly advice – stop making predictions. Being wrong so often diminishes your credibility when you offer analytical comments about players and teams. Save your reputation.

    Your welcome.

    1. We’ve been barking up that tree for quite sometime buddy… let me give you some advice, don’t waster your time…if you stay long enough you’ll see why..

      Welcome to the blog!

    2. I never predicted the 49ers would finish 8-8 last year. I always said they would make the playoffs.

      1. I’ll take your word for it. I was quoting a post on one of your blogs. My bad.

        However, I still think you would be better off not to make predictions.

      1. I got a kick out of that one too…

        What’s with all the avatars jack??? Maybe try a headshot like Grant’s

  31. LMJ was timid in returns in the championship game and other games as well. I am not sure why they would not give this to Hunter now since we have backup running backs especially with Hyde on board. Although he had some nice returns I never felt easy with him back there in traffic and there were many times he called fair catch when nobody was within 10-15 yards away. I think you have Hunter, Ellington, and Patton as the kick and punt returners since all of them have done it college. They need to trade him for a pick for next year. If the do this they will keep Lloyd.

    For other players, Dobbs and Ventrone go in favor of Acker and Osgood. Osgood was just too good on too many crucial moments in the playoffs. He is the star of special teams and they cannot let him go.

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