The 49ers will host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday evening for the third preseason game of the year. With several position battles still ongoing for spots on the 49ers roster, a few players will need to stand out if they want to remain on the team. Here are some players who will need to make an impression on Sunday:
B.J. Daniels initially looked like a practice squad member when he was drafted, but momentum has shifted to where the backup QB job behind Colin Kaepernick is uncertain. With his performance against Kansas City, Daniels is too intriguing to keep on the team. Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien did not look impressive in the first two preseason games with the former initially expecting to be the starting quarterback when he was acquired via trade. Tolzien has been working through an undisclosed injury and his decision making has been lackluster.
Seneca Wallace, the newest 49er has a dual threat ability like Kaepernick and Daniels. It will be interesting to see if he could learn parts of the team playbook in only two days, but he brings more competition among the quarterbacks. The addition shows the 49ers aren't comfortable with what they see in McCoy and Tolzien and Wallace is expected to push both players.
Linebacker: Cam Johnson
The 2012 seventh-round draft pick is buried on the OLB depth chart behind starters Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith as well as reserves Parys Haralson and Corey Lemonier. Johnson will need to be impressive on special teams if he wants a chance at making the 53-man roster. He showed signs of promise at the OLB position in training camp and in the second preseason game against Kansas City, but is that enough?
Safety: Trenton Robinson vs. Bubba Ventrone
Ventrone hasn't played since being hurt in the preseason opener against the Broncos but could have an upper hand on 2012 sixth-round draft pick Trenton Robinson. Like Johnson, Ventrone has a history of playing special teams which could be valuable for the 49ers. In practice, he has received no playing time at the safety position and is only seen on special teams. Robinson has played a select number kickoff returns, but hasn't seen much time at the safety position being buried behind reserves Craig Dahl and C.J. Spillman.
Wide Receiver: Kassim Osgood vs. Austin Collie vs. Chad Hall vs. Jon Baldwin
While Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton look like locks to make the team, the fifth and potentially sixth receivers are up in the air. Hall has been one of the most productive players in practice, but is undersized. Collie was a solid receiver while being with the Indianapolis Colts, but can he show he is ready to be on an NFL team again?
Baldwin should make the team with the investment the 49ers made in trading for him, but it's not guaranteed with his history of drops. He has the perfect size and athleticism for a receiver, but needs to be consistent if he wants a guaranteed roster spot. Osgood is an intriguing X-factor where he can play both as a wide receiver and was a three-time Pro Bowler on special teams. He has been productive in the first two preseason games.
Tight End: Garrett Celek vs. MarQueis Gray
Celek was the one surprise who earned his way onto the team in 2012, but he hasn't impressed in training camp nor in games. Blocking has been an issue for him throughout the preseason. Gray has shown flashes of being a versatile receiver and tight end. Jim Harbaugh has always liked players who can fit multiple roles and Gray, who was a former quarterback has become intriguing for some more looks.