53-man Roster Projection: Linebackers
The Linebackers: *Aldon Smith, Malcolm Smith, Ben Heeney, Neiron Ball, Bruce Irvin, Shilique Calhoun, Cory James, Lenny Jones, John Lotulelei, Kyrie Wilson, Daren Bates, Korey Toomer.
*Aldon doesn’t count as a roster spot while suspended, as explained earlier with Reece.
Daren Bates and Korey Toomer are officially listed as linebackers, but their forte is on special teams.
First Cut: Jones, Lotulelei.
Lotulelei is on his third NFL team since entering the league as a UDFA in 2013. With that being said, it’s already known what he brings to the table, and it isn’t enough to make the roster.
Lenny Jones was signed shortly after Damontre Moore was released — who some thought had an outside shot at a roster spot.
Second Cut: Bates, Wilson.
Wilson is an athletic linebacker, but with quality depth and superior talent ahead of him, he misses the cut.
There is only room for one of either Bates or Toomer, and Toomer has played better and he has familiarity with the team.
Who makes the team: *Aldon, Malcolm, Heeney, Ball, Irvin, Calhoun, James, Toomer.
The linebacker group doesn’t have much top-end talent, sans Irvin, but there is some quality depth in place.
Toomer is a special teams stud who has shown he can provide needed depth at the position. It’s a tough choice between him and Bates, as there likely isn’t room for both players.
Next: 53-man Roster Projection: DB