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August 3, 2013
Deep thoughts on the 49ers' initial depth chart

kylehops.jpg

The 49ers released their first unofficial depth chart of the offseason on Friday. They open the preseason against the Broncos on Thursday starting at 6 p.m.

Offense

WR: 81-Anquan Boldin; 17-A.J. Jenkins; 84-Charly Martin; 18-Ricardo Lockette; 4-Lavelle Hawkins; 6-Austin Collie
LT: 74-Joe Staley; 71-Carter Bykowski
LG: 77-Mike Iupati; 78-Joe Looney; 65-Al Netter
C: 59-Jonathan Goodwin; 67-Daniel Kilgore
RG: 75-Alex Boone; 68-Adam Snyder; 62-Wayne Tribue
RT: 76-Anthony Davis; 69-Kenny Wiggins; 66-Patrick Omameh
TE: 85-Vernon Davis; 89-Vance McDonald; 88-Garrett Celek; 46-MarQueis Gray
WR: 10-Kyle Williams; 14-Chad Hall; 19-Marlon Moore; 13-Kassim Osgood; 11-Quinton Patton; 1-Chuck Jacobs
FB: 49-Bruce Miller; 24-Anthony Dixon; 45-Jason Schepler
RB: 21-Frank Gore; 23-LaMichael James; 24-Anthony Dixon; 33-Jewel Hampton; 36-D.J. Harper
QB: 7-Colin Kaepernick; 2-Colt McCoy; 3-Scott Tolzien; 5-B.J. Daniels

Defense

LDT: 91-Ray McDonald; 83-Demarcus Dobbs; 78-Lawrence Okoye;
NT: 93-Ian Williams; 90-Glenn Dorsey; 92-Lamar Divens; 64-Mike Purcell
RDT: 94-Justin Smith; 48-Will Tukuafu; 63-Tony Jerod-Eddie
OLB: 55-Ahmad Brooks; 50-Cam Johnson; 51-Dan Skuta
ILB: 53-NaVorro Bowman; 45-Nate Stupar; 56-Travis Johnson
ILB: 52-Patrick Willis; 57-Michael Wilhoite; 54-Nick Moody
OLB: 99-Aldon Smith; 98-Parys Haralson; 96-Corey Lemonier
LCB: 22-Carlos Rogers; (29-Chris Culliver;) 26-Tramaine Brock; 33-Marcus Cooper; 40-Lowell Rose
RCB: 25-Tarell Brown; 24-Nnamdi Asomugha; 20-Perrish Cox; 38-Darryl Morris
FS: 27-C.J. Spillman; 35-Eric Reid; 30-Trenton Robinson; 36-Michael Thomas
SS: 31-Donte Whitner; 43-Craig Dahl; 28-Darcel McBath; 41-Bubba Ventrone

Special teams

P: 4-Andy Lee
K: 9-Phil Dawson
H: 4-Andy Lee
PR: 23-LaMichael James; 10-Kyle Williams; 14-Chad Hall; 20-Perrish Cox
KOR: 23-LaMichael James; 10-Kyle Williams; 14-Chad Hall; 20-Perrish Cox
LS: 86-Brian Jennings; 47-Kevin McDermott

Some thoughts ...

• The key word is "unofficial." It's put together by the team's PR staff with assistance from the some of the coaches. In truth, the depth chart is in a constant state of flux in the offseason due to - primarily - injuries but also to players rising and falling and coaches testing out players in new roles. For instance:

• Kyle Williams is listed as the WR starter opposite Anquan Boldin. If Williams were healthy that would be the case. But he has been dealing with a hamstring strain, and on Friday at least, the starters were Boldin and Marlon Moore. Look for some of the receivers who have been missing time - Williams and A.J. Jenkins - to be back at practice Sunday. Today is a player's day off, and frankly the 49ers can use the rest.

• Austin Collie is the last receiver listed. He's a newcomer, of course, having just signed a one-year deal Friday afternoon. He also said that coaches initially will ease him into the mix due to the patella injury he suffered 10 months ago in Indianapolis. If everything looks good after a week, he'd be given greater license.

• Prepare yourself for the word "or" when the official depth chart is released in September. If you'll recall, last year's depth chart at wide receiver listed "Randy Moss or Kyle Williams or Mario Manningham or Ted Ginn" as the starter opposite Michael Crabtree. It's looking like another "or" situation for the beginning of this season as well.

• Adam Snyder might as well be listed as the No. 3 center. He played a lot at that position this week with Jonathan Goodwin out. The team also released a center, rookie Sherman Carter, on Friday. Joe Looney is not playing as much (any?) center as I expected. He and Snyder have been the top backups at guard. When Mike Iupati briefly left Friday's practice, Looney stepped in at left guard.

• On defense, C.J. Spillman has received the most snaps in training camp at free safety, which probably is why he's listed as the starter there. But true to Vic Fangio's word (he's incapable of guile), Craig Dahl, Trenton Robinson and Eric Reid also have received repetitions with the first-string group at free safety. It will be interesting to see who lines up there against Peyton Manning on Thursday.

• Nitpicking, but my sense is that Dan Skuta has been playing ahead of Cam Johnson at outside linebacker. Johnson, however, has looked much better than he did a year ago, and the depth chart may reflect his ascension. Also, Corey Lemonier mostly has been playing left outside linebacker, the side Ahmad Brooks plays.

• Rookie defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye mostly has been playing right defensive end behind Justin Smith and Demarcus Dobbs.

• LaMichael James is listed as the punt returner with Williams as his backup. James has looked far better in that role than he did last year. But Candlestick Park's swirling winds are different than Santa Clara's consistent-off-the-Bay, north-to-south winds. He's also likely to get the first opportunity against Denver, and it will be interesting to watch how he performs.



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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