Predicting the 53-man roster

The Niners will announce their final 27 cuts Saturday, and then we’ll know their 53-man roster. Before they make it clear for us, here’s my prediction of what the full roster will look like. Please feel free to leave your own predictions as well.

QB: Alex Smith, Josh McCown, Colin Kaepernick

ANALYSIS: Kaepernick showed last night he’s not ready to play in an NFL game right now, and McCown showed he could be a serviceable backup.

RB: Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon

ANALYSIS: Hunter clearly jumped Dixon on the depth chart, and Dixon showed last night he could be counted on in to convert short first downs and touchdowns. Omon did not distinguish himself in the last exhibition game, and he’ll most likely take a spot on the Niners’ practice squad if another team doesn’t sign him.

FB: Moran Norris, Bruce Miller

ANALYSIS: Norris is still a better blocker than Miller, so he’ll probably start. He made a nice catch and run last night, as well.

WR: Michael Crabtree, Braylon Edwards, Joshua Morgan, Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams.

ANALYSIS: Sixth round pick Ronald Johnson has done nothing to assure himself a roster spot, so he’ll be a practice squad guy most likely. I expect Kyle Williams to pass Ginn and Morgan halfway through the season as the primary slot receiver.

TE: Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Konrad Reuland, Nate Lawrie

ANALYSIS: Harbaugh wants a lot of tight ends, so I doubt he cuts a single one. Still, I don’t think Reuland or Lawrie will play much in the regular season.

OL: Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Chilo Rachal, Anthony Davis, Adam Snyder, Alex Boone, Daniel Kilgore, Mike Person.

ANALYSIS: Tony Wragge will be out because the Niners like their rookie Daniel Kilgore more. Snyder and Boone will be the primary backups.

DL: Ray McDonald, Isaac Sopoaga, Justin Smith, Ricky Jean-Francois, Demarcus Dobbs, Ian Williams

ANALYSIS: Demarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams played their way onto the team, and Will Tukuafu played his way onto the practice squad.

LB: Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Parys Haralson, Antwan Applewhite, Larry Grant, Blake Constanzo

ANALYSIS: Costanzo will play primarily on special teams. Larry Grant will be the primary backup middle line backer. And Alex Joseph, who played well last night, will probably be on the practice squad. Keaton Kristick, who suffered a leg injury, will probably get cut.

CB: Carlos Rogers, Shawntae Spencer, Tarell Brown, Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver

ANALYSIS: Tarell Brown seems to have won the battle for the third cornerback job. Brock and Culliver will back up Rogers and Spencer. Phillip Adams will be the odd-man out, and I think he’ll get cut.

S: Donte Whitner, Dashon Goldson, Reggie Smith, Madieu Williams, C.J. Spillman

ANALYSIS: Spillman, like Costanzo, will primarily play special teams. Reggie Smith could challenge Goldson for the free safety job when he returns from his knee injury. Former seventh round pick Curtis Taylor will most likely get cut, and Colin Jones and Chris Maragos will go to the practice squad.

K: David Akers

P: Andy Lee

LS: Brian Jennings



Follow me on twitter @grantcohn.

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