49ers' pre-camp roster rundown


Defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs and receiver Joe Hastings are examples of players who arrived at 49ers training camp a year ago with little or no fanfare and eventually earned roster spots.Rookies are scheduled to report to training camp in Santa Clara on Saturday, and each will have a chance to climb the depth chart to stick with the team this season in some form.We've divided the 89 players currently on the roster into three categories:Locks (35): These are the players who are virtually assured of spots on the 53-man roster if they remain injury-free.
Looking good (18): These players enter camp as favorites to stick with the club.
Work to do (36): Expect fewer than five of these players to earn their way onto the season-opening roster with eye-opening training camps.
Locks: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick
Looking good: Josh Johnson
Work to do: Scott Tolzien
There's no doubt Smith is the starter. Kaepernick and Johnson will battle for backup honors. And don't sleep on Tolzien.Running backs
Locks: Frank Gore, Bruce Miller, LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter.
Looking good: Brandon Jacobs, Rock Cartwright.
Work to do: Anthony Dixon, Jewel Hampton, Cameron Bell.
Jacobs is in line to be the short-yardage back, but he'll have to earn it with a good camp. Cartwright's value to the team is on special teams. The 49ers will likely carry just one fullback with defensive lineman Will Tukuafu also working there.Wide receivers
Locks: Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, A.J. Jenkins.
Looking good: Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams.
Work to do: Joe Hastings, Nathan Palmer, Chris Owusu, Brett Swain, Brian Tyms.
The team will likely to keep six receivers. At worst, Jenkins gets a red-shirt year. Ginn figures to stick as the return specialist.Tight ends
Locks: Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker.
Looking good: None.
Work to do: Nate Byham, Garrett Celek, Konrad Reuland.
Byham is borderline "looking good" and "work to do." His biggest competition might actually come from defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs. Because of better backs and wide receivers, the 49ers might be inclined to go with two tight ends and use Dobbs or another offensive linemen if they need a third tight end for short-yardage situations. So a third tight end will have to earn it.
Offensive line
Locks: Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis.
Looking good: Daniel Kilgore, Mike Person, Joe Looney.
Work to do: Jason Slowey, Chase Beeler, Derek Hall, Kenny Wiggins, Garrett Chisolm, Al Netter, David Gonzales.
The 49ers could keep a total of 11 offensive linemen, including the practice squad, so there are some spots available here.Defensive line
Locks: Ray McDonald, Isaac Sopoaga, Justin Smith, Ricky Jean Francois.
Looking good: Will Tukuafu, Demarcus Dobbs.
Work to do: Ian Williams, Patrick Butrym, Matthew Masifilo, Tony Jerod-Eddie.
The top four are obvious. Tukuafu and Dobbs have increased their value with work on offense, too.
Locks: Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks, Larry Grant.
Looking good: Parys Haralson, Tavares Gooden, Cam Johnson, Darius Fleming.
Work to do: Eric Bakhtiari, Kourtnei Brown, Joe Holland, Michael Wilhoite.
Fleming appears ticketed for the physically-unable-to-perform list and, likely, injured reserve after offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL. The only thing keeping Haralson from being a "lock" is the 49ers could determine his price tag (2.65 million salary and 200,000 roster bonus) is too much for a backup.Cornerbacks
Locks: Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver.
Looking good: Tramaine Brock, Perrish Cox.
Work to do: Curtis Holcomb, Anthony Mosley, Deante Purvis.
Holcomb, a 2011 draft pick who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles, will get a long look.Safeties
Locks: Donte Whitner, Dashon Goldson, C.J. Spillman.
Looking good: Trenton Robinson, Colin Jones.
Work to do: Cory Nelms, Michael Thomas, Mark LeGree, Ben Hannula.
It's tempting to put Goldson on the "looking good" list because if he does not sign his one-year franchise tender through several weeks of training camp and Spillman looks good, the 49ers could pull the 6.212 million tender. Of course, that's a long shot. Jones' special-teams ability makes him a favorite for a roster spot. Specialists
Locks: David Akers, Andy Lee, Brian Jennings.
Looking good: None.
Work to do: K Giorgio Tavecchio, LS Kyle Nelson.
The three Pro Bowlers aren't going anywhere.

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