The 49ers just released their eight-man practice squad. Once again, this unit probably will change some in coming days as the team makes adjustments to its 53-man roster. Remember, Mike Singletary said he wants to add an inside linebacker to the mix after the team waived/injured Matt Wilhelm on Friday.
QB Jarrett Brown: The 49ers are intrigued by his strong arm and his athleticism. They have all sorts of question marks at quarterback heading into 2011 and felt that Brown was worth keeping around. You also have to wonder whether Mike Singletary's tough-love message to Nate Davis in recent weeks also was directed at Brown. Brown made an impressive tackle on a kick-return against the Raiders and is the team's most physically gifted quarterback. In that way, the 49ers will get a lot of bang for their practice-squad buck from Brown.
FB/RB Jehuu Caulcrick: As was the case at Michigan State, the 49ers found that Caulcrick was more than a fullback. He ran with and caught the ball well during the preseason and he hit the hole hard as a lead blocker. This was a very physical camp -- at least early on -- for fullbacks, and Caulcrick never shied away.
OLB Bruce Davis: As I wrote yesterday, Davis said he's made big strides at linebacker after lining up at defensive end at UCLA. Like Diyral Briggs did a year ago, Davis endeared himself to coaches with a strong preseason finale. The 49ers might be without Manny Lawson next season while Travis LaBoy has only a one-year deal. That is, it makes sense to hold onto some outside linebackers.
WR Kevin Jurovich: He's an Energizer bunny on the practice field, which is just what teams want in a scout-team receiver. He also picked up the offense quickly and has shown a knack for kick and punt returns, which is handy if the 49ers run into injuries down the line. The 49ers were eying Jurovich in the draft but decided on Kyle Williams instead.
OT Matt Kopa: You can never be too rich, too good-looking or have too many offensive tackles. Kopa is athletic and light on his feet. He also held up well in training camp after having foot surgery in February. The Elk Grove High product needs to get stronger over the next season, but he has a nice foundation on which to build some muscle.
ILB Keaton Kristick: He made a nice transition from outside linebacker at Oregon State. He was always around the ball in preseason and he moves very well. He needs to get bigger and, most important, needs to learn how to take on blockers instead of running around them. He's an intriguing prospect for a team still looking for a fourth inside linebacker.
S Chris Maragos: This is a surprise only in that the 49ers already have five safeties on the active roster and three of those -- Reggie Smith, Curtis Taylor and Taylor Mays -- are youngsters with precious little playing experience. Otherwise, Maragos has been very solid throughout the offseason and was particularly conspicuous on special teams. He's undersized for a safety -- he was mentored at Wisconsin by Jim Leonhard -- but was on the first-team coverage unit for kick returns the last two games. Again, the 49ers could lose both Michael Lewis and Dashon Goldson after the season. It can't hurt to have some quality safeties on the back burner.
DL Will Tukuafu: Tukuafu only entered the mix after the 49ers parted ways with Kentwan Balmer in mid August. But he made the most of his opportunity, playing with a real fire when he entered games. Tukuafu weighs about 286 pounds at the moment. The 49ers would like to see him gain about 10 more.
Note: Wilhelm was waived/injured after spraining a knee Thursday against San Diego. The 49ers either will work out an injury settlement or place him on injured reserve.
-- Matt Barrows