Predicting the San Francisco 49ers’ 53-Man Roster in 2013

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Predicting the San Francisco 49ers 53-Man Roster in 2013

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers have perhaps one of the best defenses ever assembled and the majority of it was put together via the NFL Draft. This often keeps prices down and provides the opportunity for better gelling due to the fact that the players feel like they all have something of substance in common with each other. Additionally, they built around one guy as their cornerstone defender with inside linebacker Patrick Willis who is an extremely tenacious defender that seldom lets players past him.

This year now third year quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the unquestioned leader on offense as he took the league by storm last year nearly beating everyone in his path with his feet and through the air. The only real weakness on this team is their wide receiver corps, and that’s mostly due to the tearing of Michael Crabtree’s Achilles tendon during organized team activities earlier this week which will likely shut him down for the entire season. This is the smart move due to the fact that if Crabtree hurries back and tries to play this year, his injury is significantly more likely to be re-injured which could cost him next season or it might be a career-ending injury.

The 49ers also drafted fairly smart knowing they had far too many draft picks to fill their team needs. They invested for the future with a couple of their draft selections that are currently recovering from serious injuries.

Here is what the 49ers 53-man roster figures to look like when training camp comes to an end.

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Quarterbacks

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks: Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien

This is Colin Kaepernick's team now with very little if any quarterback controversy since the team traded Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs. That being said, backup quarterback Colt McCoy is reliable, but shouldn't be seen as a long-term starter if anything were to happen to Kaepernick.

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Running Backs

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Halfbacks: Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore.

Fullbacks: Bruce Miller and Will Tukuafu

Their offensive strength, by far, is running the football down people's throats. In this draft they might have gotten a potential hidden gem in round four that they can hide for possibly a season in Marcus Lattimore. Frank Gore has been a true workhorse running back for the majority of the nine years he's been the league. Fullback Bruce Miller has been a true asset by blowing up defenders for the last two years.

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Receivers

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Wide Receivers: A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, Anquan Boldin, Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald

It hurts that they lost their number one wide receiver in Michael Crabtree likely for the entire 2013 season as they are paper thin behind him with players who are extremely green. While tight end, on the other hand, will likely be another position of strength as they added Vance McDonald via the draft to replace Delanie Walker.

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Offensive Linemen

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Tackles: Joe Staley, Kenny Wiggins, Carter Bykowski, Anthony Davis and Al Netter

Offensive Guards: Mike Iupati, Joe Looney, Alex Boone and Adam Snyder

Centers: Jonathan Goodwin and Daniel Kilgore

This line is the main reason why quarterbackColin Kaepernick can take off and run with ease as well as why the halfbacks look so dynamic in the City by the Bay. It doesn't hurt that at least three of the five starters were taken in either the first or second rounds of the NFL Draft.

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Defensive Linemen

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Tyler Kaufman-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive ends: Ray McDonald, Tank Carradine, Justin Smith, Glenn Dorsey and Lawrence Okoye

Nose tackles: Ian Williams and Quinton Dial

These are the ideal front three men in the NFL who clog up opposing team's offensive lines so the San Francisco 49ers' linebackers and secondary can wreak havoc all over the field. The only problem is that defensive end Justin Smith is getting on the wrong side of 30 rapidly, so drafting his replacement might be in order sooner rather than later. Overall though, this is good news for the 49ers and bad news for opponents.

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Linebackers

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Outside linebackers: Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson, Darius Fleming, Aldon Smith and Corey Lemonier

Inside Linebackers: NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Patrick Willis and Dan Skuta

With one of the scariest group of linebackers ever assembled in NFL history led by Patrick Willis, the San Francisco 49ers mostly assembled this group via the NFL Draft. They are simply relentless and will punish opposing offenses early and often if you give them the opportunity to do so. These guys simply take over games week in and week out.

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Defensive Backs

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerbacks: Carlos Rogers, Perrish Cox, Tarell Brown, Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Culliver

Free Safeties: Eric Reid and C.J. Spillman

Strong Safeties: Donte Whitner and Trenton Robinson

Their weakness, if you can call it that, on defense is their defensive backs. With another year notched under their belt, however, they could be drastically better than last season. After losing Dashon Goldson, the team replaced him by drafting Eric Reid in the first round.

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Special Teams

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Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Kicker: Phil Dawson

Punter: Andy Lee

Long Snapper: Brian Jennings

The San Francisco 49ers reinforced their special teams play by getting rid of erratic at best kicker David Akers and upgraded the position when they signed Phil Dawson. Andy Lee has been one of better punters the league since coming into the league in 2004 as he has pinned 245 balls inside the 20 yard line in that same time frame.


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