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Six 49ers No Longer on 'Bubble'

Posted Aug 31, 2013

After a long training camp and preseason, six "bubble" players made San Francisco's initial 53-man roster.


The 49ers announced their initial 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon. Worth highlighting: Six players who were thought to be on the bubble during training camp but, exiting the preseason, have earned their spots.

QB B.J. DANIELS

In some ways, the seventh-round draft pick four months ago survived a battle of attrition at the quarterback position. Daniels outlasted third-year pro Scott Tolzien and free-agent acquisition Seneca Wallace. His performances across three preseason games helped his case, too. The South Florida product was 13-of-21 passing for 178 yards and a team-high three touchdown passes. Even though he was sacked five times, he didn’t toss an interception, something No. 2 signal-caller Colt McCoy couldn’t claim. Daniels, who has taken reps at the wide receiver, running back and returner positions, rushed for 87 yards on 12 carries. Behind starter Colin Kaepernick and McCoy, it remains to be seen if the rookie will be active on game days, but his versatility only adds to his value.

READ: 49ERS DOWN TO THREE QBS

WR JON BALDWIN

Acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for fellow first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins on Aug. 19, the third-year pro gives the 49ers rare size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and speed. Three of the wideouts he beat out – veterans Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins and Chad Hall – are all less imposing. From all indications, Baldwin has shown his mental aptitude as well, picking up the playbook with ease. He caught two passes for 23 yards in the 49ers third preseason game before going catch-less in the fourth. Baldwin joins a receiver corps led by Anquan Boldin and Kyle Williams and including Marlon Moore and rookie Quinton Patton.

READ: BALDWIN OFF TO SOLID START

OLB – CAM JOHNSON

No player's closing arguments were as convincing as Johnson's. The 2012 seventh-round draft pick is "light years ahead" of where he was during his rookie year, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said on Tuesday. Two days later, in the team's preseason finale, Johnson played "lights out" in the words of Kaepernick, collecting two sacks while blocking a punt and turning it into a touchdown. He was only active for the final two regular season games last season but has an opportunity to back up starters Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. His competition will be ongoing, as fellow outside 'backers Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta would also like to be first off the bench come fall and winter.

READ: JOHNSON PUTS ON SHOW THURSDAY


ILB – NATE STUPAR

Perhaps the surprise of this six to crack the initial 53-man roster, Stupar carried his impressive training camp into the preseason. He led all 49ers defenders in tackles (21) and had a sack for good measure. Stupar, whom San Francisco signed to its practice squad in January, will continue to keep up with rookie Nick Moody and Michael Wilhoite -- the other inside 'backers fighting for time behind All-Pro starters Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.

DT – TONY JEROD-EDDIE

Like Johnson, Jerod-Eddie came to San Francisco in 2012 and spent most of the season on the practice squad. He led all defensive lineman in tackles (10) this preseason. Behind starters Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, Jerod-Eddie remains in a tussle with teammates Demarcus Dobbs and Will Tukuafu for snaps. Dobbs was placed on the Reserve/Suspended List on Saturday and will miss the Sept. 8 opener against the Green Bay Packers.

LS – KEVIN MCDERMOTT

The undrafted UCLA product narrowly beat 13-year veteran Brian Jennings for this spot. McDermott made all of the snaps in the 49ers exhibition finale on Thursday night in San Diego, including a well-executed snap from his own goal-line. Harbaugh had used the words “down to the wire” to describe the impending decision earlier this week. Letting go Jennings, who was drafted by San Francisco in 2000, was no easy call. The two-time Pro Bowler worked with nine kickers and four punters during his tenure here. McDermott, 13 years younger than his predecessor at 23, has big cleats to fill.

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