Just a few short years ago this roster was stacked. They were drafting injured stars just to redshirt them because they couldn’t fit healthy players on the team. And then retirements, decline and injuries happened all at once. The Marcus Lattimore’s and Tank Carradine’s didn’t work out and the roster fell to pieces. But that doesn’t mean there is a lack of competition for places on the 53-man squad this summer. Let’s take a look at who some of the casualties might be.
Antoine Bethea, S
Money isn’t too much of an issue for the 49ers at the moment which is nice, but that doesn’t mean the should throw it at veterans just for the sake of it. Bethea is entering his 11th year in the NFL and while that is very impressive it does mean a certain decline in his skill set. He can’t cover the field the way he used to or hit as hard. With youngsters like Eric Reid, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt on the roster giving snaps to Bethea while the team is rebuilding doesn’t seem like a sound strategy.
Brandon Thomas, G
When you trade up into the 1st round for a guard it’s only natural to expect that player to be immediately in consideration to start. That’s the situation we have with Josh Garnett after San Francisco leapt up to #28 to select him. As a result someone on the interior of the line becomes expendable. It won’t be Marcus Martin as he acts as the #2 center as well as a guard. It won’t be Zane Beadles as they just signed him to a 3-year contract. That leaves Brandon Thomas, who was drafted in the 3rd round in 2014 but hasn’t played a game for the 49ers yet.
Glenn Dorsey, DE
After drafting Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner in the first round the last two years it’s clear the 49ers have a desire for athletic, long players as their 5-techs. Dorsey isn’t that, and while he might be a useful rotation guy they need to blood their young players like Tank Carradine and find out what they have for the future and Armstead and Buckner need as many snaps as they can get over the next year to develop their skills and fulfil their potential.