49ers: 5 players who need to improve their performance in Week 2
With the NFL going from the 90-man roster directly to the 53-man roster this year, each week is crucial to each player fighting for a spot on the roster. Each week is a chance to show out and make a case for their chance on the 49ers' roster. For five individual players directly, this week is extremely important for their chance on the team.
5. DB Will Redmond
After spending much of last year hurt, DB Will Redmond, the former third-round pick, is having a rough start. Most of the defensive backs from last year did not have a good showing. In camp, CB K’Waun Williams is looking like he will be the starting nickel corner over Redmond. The 49ers also added CB Asa Jackson to compete -- along with CB Will Davis --, and even he looked the part last week versus the Chiefs. For Redmond to have a chance at cracking the roster, he will need to have a strong week this week against an average-at-best passing offense -- the Denver Broncos.
4. OL Garry Gilliam
The former Seahawks' offensive lineman came in and most were scratching their heads. He wasn’t a very good tackle for Seattle, but his athleticism intrigued the 49ers. However, with the entire offensive line struggling, there are chances for some undrafted players to make the team. As of right now, OL Darrell Williams Jr. -- of Western Kentucky -- looks the part. It will be a three-way competition for Gilliam, Williams and Theus, but as of right now, Williams Jr. has the upper hand. This week will be a good test for this offensive line facing one of the top pass-rushing teams in the NFL.
3. QB Brian Hoyer
Regardless of how QB Brian Hoyer plays, he will make the 49ers' 53-man roster. After his showing versus the Chiefs, though, things don’t look promising. Hoyer had four passing plays, only completing one for three yards. When he dropped back to pass, he looked indecisive with the ball. Nobody will unseat him for the starting quarterback role, however, quarterbacks Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard looked like they could be on the come up and could replace Hoyer later down the road -- if Hoyer doesn’t improve.
2. WR DeAndre Smelter
There has always been high hopes for WR DeAndre Smelter, however, his career has been riddled with injuries. As of right now, there doesn’t seem as if there is much of a chance for Smelter to make the team. Receivers Victor Bolden Jr, Kendrick Bourne, Aldrick Robinson, Aaron Burbridge, and Trent Taylor have all looked better than Smelter and there is only room for five or six wide receivers on the roster. If Smelter hopes to make the team this year, he must have a strong showing this week.
1. RB Matt Breida
The Breida train is still running full steam, as he had a run with the first-string offense and flashed some ability on the ground. The issue was RB Joe Williams is looking as if he could compete for No. 2 running back repetitions. RB Matt Breida had a fumble, which can be a kiss of death for most undrafted running backs. Breida is almost guaranteed a spot on this roster, but if he wants to make an impact and have significant action for the season, he needs to show more than Williams and RB Tim Hightower in order to do so.