Quarterbacks (3): Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray
Analysis: The QB situation has been set in stone for awhile. Smith gives the team a veteran who can handle the volume of the offense. Daniel gives them another veteran who knows what it takes to compete in the league. Bray gives them a QB with huge upside. Bray has the best arm of the three but will take time to grow into his potential.
Running Backs (3): Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis and Shaun Draughn
Analysis: Charles is going to be utilized in a way we haven't seen before. He will see more touches in the passing game. He will become a lethal fantasy threat. Davis has come along way from his time in rookie camp. He is faster in person than he was on his college tape. Draughn gives you a veteran who understands the league and contributes on special teams.
Fullback (1): Anthony Sherman
Analysis: I finally got the fullback on the roster. Sherman is going to be a safety blanket along with the tight end. Sherman can block but also catch out of the flats.
Wide Receivers (7): Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, AJ Jenkins, Devon Wylie, Junior Hemingway and Rico Richardson
Analysis: I expect the team to look at the waiver wire for receivers. The top four are a lock for the team. Wylie, Hemingway and Richardson are the question marks. I think the team has been trying to hide Richardson but won't be able to take the chance. Wylie makes the team for his returning ability. Hemingway had a solid night against Pittsburgh.
Tight End (3): Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, and Tony Moeaki
Analysis: Fasano is their most reliable hands on the team. He has picked up this offense very well and can be relied upon. I see Moeaki as trade bait for a mid round draft pick. I could see the team moving him if the price is right and elevating Demeterius Harris.
Update: Tony Moeaki has a shoulder fracture.
Offensive Line (8): Branden Albert, Eric Fisher, Donald Stephenson, Geoff Schwartz, Jeff Allen, Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson and Eric Kush
Analysis: This is another part of the team I could see being upgraded through waivers. The protection issues are concerning. I also feel this line is limited in what it can block in the run and pass. Jamaal Charles speed helps cover up flaws in their run blocking.
Defensive Ends (4): Mike Devito, Tyson Jackson, Austen Lane and Allen Bailey
Analysis: Devito is the strongest of the four linemen. Lane provides them with a solid rotational pass rusher on the left side. Bailey gives them a rotational guy but also a player who is on a majority of special teams.
Nose Tackle (3): Dontari Poe, Jerrell Powe, Anthony Toribio
Analysis: Each tackle has their strength. Poe gives you an athletic lineman who can collapse the pocket. Powe gives you a rotational player who has good finesse moves. Toribio is a solid vet who can maintain the line of scrimmage and utilizes the club move while also acting as a reserve at defensive end.
Outside Linebackers (4): Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Edgar Jones and Frank Zombo
Analysis: Houston is going to have a dominate season. He has put is all together as a pass rusher. Jones provides them a good pass rusher and even better special teams player. Zombo is depth and a special teams contributor.
Inside Linebackers (4): Derrick Johnson, Akeem Jordan, Nico Johnson and Zac Diles
Analysis: I expect Jordan to win the starting job. He has raised his game in the competition. Jordan provides the team with a instinctive player that can cover. I anticipate Nico Johnson pushing for playing time around mid-season. He has instincts and ability most rookies don't have this early in their career. Johnson's future is very bright.
Cornerbacks (4) Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, Jalil Brown
Analysis: I expect the fourth and potentially fifth corner to change when players get cut. Commings could potentially become the "fifth" corner. Jalil Brown has been a solid special teams contributor. But so were Copper and Thorpe. This team lacks depth if one of their top three go down. This team doesn't have a nickel corner opposite Robinson. I still see the team trying to upgrade this spot.
Safeties (6): Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Quintin Demps, Husain Abdullah, Sanders Commings and Tysyn Hartman
Analysis: I anticipate the team keeping six safeties because of the formations. Commings is going to be a big factor in Hartman and McDougald's chances of making the roster. With Commings now starting to work out, it may be smart to reserve a roster spot for his return. The team can not place him on IR as "designated for return"until September 3rd after all roster cuts. Hartman is a good tackler and has seen reps with the first and second team. Hartman struggled in coverage but is a solid blitzer and that was a huge special teams play. Demps and Abdullah are better than him though. McDougald has showcased his physical nature. He is a hard hitter who can cover the tight end. Not many corners or safeties can cover Jimmy Graham. He performed the task very well against the Saints. This is a tough position where a talent player will get cut.
Specialist (3): Dustin Colquitt, Ryan Succop and Thomas Gafford
Analysis: This one is a rather easy position to assess.
Practice Squad: Miguel Chavis, Mike Catapano, Josh Martin, Bradley McDougald, Demetrius Harris, Jordan Roberts, Braden Wilson, Neiko Thorpe
Analysis: Chavis is a talented DL that needs time in a NFL strength training program. Catapano just needs reps to develop into the pass rusher he is capable of. Martin hasn't been able to showcase his ability but the pass rushing skills are there. McDougald may not make it to the PS but what a steal it would be. Harris has raw athletic ability but it will take time to develop his route running and blocking skills. Roberts has speed and he doesn't hesitate but again needs time. Wilson and Thorpe deserve the time to develop.
Potential Surprise Moves
1) Rodney Hudson: I wouldn't be surprised to see him cut on the final day. I know he is a starter but he has had struggles on tape. Not sure he fits this system long term. But there will need to be an upgrade on the open market.
2) Tony Moeaki: I don't think his blocking style will fit this scheme. You always worry about injuries with him. If he isn't on the roster. The team has serious faith in Harris.
3) Interior Guard: I think this team is going to add OL depth through waivers. The lack of depth is evident. Do Asamoah or Allen see the chopping block? Would they be willing to cut one and put Stephenson or Schwartz in that spot? Again I think it will take a good vet hitting the open market.