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NFL San Francisco 49ers

5 Dark Horse Candidates to Make San Francisco 49ers’ 53-Man Roster

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San Francisco 49ers: 5 Dark Horse Candidates to Make 53-Man Roster

San Francisco 49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. With so much depth at each position, head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff will have to make many tough decisions regarding who makes the final 53-man roster. Here are five dark horse candidates who could earn a spot on the final roster.

5. LaMichael James, RB

LaMichael James, San Francisco 49ers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

5. LaMichael James, RB

LaMichael James, San Francisco 49ers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers continued to add depth to the running back position through the 2014 NFL Draft by selecting Carlos Hyde. Hyde joins an already crowded backfield featuring Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore and LaMichael James. James may seem like the odd man out, however, he has a good opportunity to make the final roster as a returner. He is a dangerous special teams player with great speed and elusiveness.

4. Derek Carrier, TE

Derek Carrier, San Francisco 49ers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Derek Carrier, TE

Derek Carrier, San Francisco 49ers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Beginning in Week 11 of last season, the 49ers carried four tight ends on their 53-man roster. One of those tight ends was Derek Carrier. Carrier is a big, athletic tight end who causes matchup problems for defenses. If his blocking skills continue to develop, it will be difficult for San Francisco to let the young tight end go. Vernon Davis' contract situation will also play a factor in Carrier's future with the 49ers.

3. Ryan Seymour, OG

Ryan Seymour, San Francisco 49ers
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Ryan Seymour, OG

Ryan Seymour, San Francisco 49ers
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers signed Ryan Seymour off of the Seahawks' practice squad last season. He did not make an impact in 2013, but he still has an opportunity to make the 53-man roster in 2014. Seymour will benefit from his versatility. He can play either guard or tackle, which is ideal for a backup lineman. If guard Alex Boone holds out for an extended period of time, Seymour's chance of making the team will increase exponentially.

2. Tony Jerod-Eddie, DE/DT

Tony Jerod-Eddie, San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2. Tony Jerod-Eddie, DE/DT

Tony Jerod-Eddie, San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco has tremendous depth along its defensive line. This depth will lead to intense competition during training camp. Defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie is a player who will have to perform well during camp to lock up a roster spot. Jerod-Eddie played in 18 games for the 49ers last season and showed flashes of strong play. He will likely have to beat out Demarcus Dobbs to make the 53-man roster.

1. Shayne Skov, ILB

Shayne Skov, San Francisco 49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shayne Skov, ILB

Shayne Skov, San Francisco 49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to their defensive line, the 49ers' linebacking corps is deep with talent. Still, don't count out undrafted free agent Shayne Skov from making San Francisco's final roster. Skov has a non-stop motor and plays with incredible passion. He should be able to impress during camp and stick as a special teams player. Navarro Bowman's injury also improves Skov's chances of making the team.

Kevin Major is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMajor_Rant, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google