Posted: 5:35 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
By David Fucillo
The 49ers wrap up their preseason tonight against the San Diego Chargers. Numerous starters are expected to sit, and any others will likely get limited playing time. That means we get one last chance to check out the bottom of the roster. There are a few roster spots still up for grabs. Most players made it through the first cut-down due to the team's lengthy injury list. Many of those players are either playing for a practice squad spot, or auditioning for another team.
One last time, let's take a look at one player to watch at each position.
I thought I'd bring the list up once again. While I probably will end up missing some of the players, it's still helpful in coming up with some of the names to watch.
Who I'll watch: B.J. Daniels - Although Daniels seems like the favorite to secure the third spot, I'd still like to see a strong performance that clearly outmatches Wallace. Colt McCoy could be worth a watch even with the Harbaugh vote of confidence (or perhaps because of it), but I want to see a third straight solid performance from Daniels.
Who I'll watch: Carter Bykowski - The 49ers are likely carrying Adam Snyder as the "swing tackle", which means Carter Bykowski and Kenny Wiggins are competing for a practice squad spot, and not much else. Bykowski has been very inconsistent, so we'll see if he can finish strong or if he is the draft pick that ends up flaming out quickly.
Who I'll watch: Joe Looney - He has struggled mightily at center, but looked relatively solid at right guard. I think he's most likely sticking around, but it'd be nice to finish strong. Given the age of the 49ers offensive line, Looney has a chance to become a utility interior lineman, especially when Jonathan Goodwin eventually leaves. Let's see what he can do both at guard and center.
Who I'll watch: Jewel Hampton - He made his debut two weeks ago, and then really shined last week. Can he make it two straight weeks of strong performances? And if so, is it enough to convince the 49ers to keep him around as more than a practice squad body?
Who I'll watch: MarQueis Gray - Celek has not had a good preseason. Gray is in his first year as a tight end, but maybe his conversion is as quick as Bruce Miller's was to fullback? He gets one more game to prove it
Who I'll watch: Jon Baldwin - It was tempting to go with Patton, but given that Patton is a roster lock, I'd like to keep a close eye on Baldwin. He did great work using his body to shield himself from defenders. He's one of the biggest receivers on the team, and could provide great value in the red zone.
Who I'll watch: Tukuafu/TJE/Dobbs - This is really just a cop-out, but these three guys are competing for anywhere from one to three roster spots. No matter what happens, Dobbs will not be playing next week. Can Tuk or TJE do enough to give the 49ers reason to cut ties with Dobbs? I think Dobbs sticks around, but right now, TJE has been impressing.
Who I'll watch: Ian Williams - Right now, Williams and Dorsey are locks to make the roster. Some defensive starters will sit, but with only three guys who can fill that nose tackle role, I imagine all three could get some time. Williams has become so much fun to watch as he dominates inside.
Who I'll watch: Nick Moody - Wilhoite has pretty much locked up the primary backup role behind Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Let's see what the athletic rookie can do today.
Who I'll watch: Cam Johnson - The 49ers traded Parys Haralson, opening the door with a huge opportunity for Cam Johnson. He left Sunday's game with an injury, so more than anything, I just want to see him on the field
Who I'll watch: Darryl Morris/Marcus Cooper - The 49ers will be resting starters, and Nnamdi and Cox are likely in that group given some of their injuries. I think we'll see a lot of Cooper and Morris. The two rookies are battling for at least a practice squad spot, so we'll see who stands out tonight.
Who I'll watch: C.J. Spillman - At this point, this is kind of a blah position for purposes of the final preseason game. I kind of cheated as Spillman is technically listed at free safety. He'll likely get some strong safety time tonight.
Who I'll watch: Trenton Robinson - He hasn't exactly stood out in a good OR bad way. He's become a regular this month on special teams, so we'll see if he stands out in any other way. He's another guy who will see a lot of playing time tongiht.