• Travis Hawkins

49ers 53-Man Roster Projection

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann

The 2020 season promises to be unique. The new rules governing rosters and the lack of preseason games are going to change the calculus of roster construction and make for some interesting decisions.

Quarterbacks: 3

Jimmy Garoppolo

Nick Mullens

C.J. Beathard

With the expanded practice squad and the ability to keep up to six veterans, this year would be the perfect time to free up a roster spot by adding Beathard to the practice squad, but the 49ers likely won’t risk losing him to a waiver claim.

Running Backs: 4

Raheem Mostert

Tevin Coleman

Jerick McKinnon

Kyle Juszczyk

The running-back room is one of the bigger flex points on the roster because there are going to be some tough cuts among this group and the decisions made here will affect the roster elsewhere.

Tight Ends: 4

George Kittle

Jordan Reed

Charlie Woerner

Ross Dwelley

There is a lot of versatility in this group and multiple tight end formations could be the dominant personnel group this season.

Wide Receivers: 6

Brandon Aiyuk

Deebo Samuel

Kendrick Bourne

Trent Taylor

Dante Pettis

Richie James Jr.

The wide receiver room will also see some tough cuts although the job got a little easier when Tavon Austin was placed on injured reserve. A tight battle for the final spot will likely come down to Richie James Jr. and seventh-round draft choice Jauan Jennings, and the 49ers may have tipped their hand by activating James off the non-football injury list on September 3. James served as the team’s primary return man last season and his ability fill that role will likely be the deciding factor.

Offensive Line: 8

Trent Williams

Laken Tomlinson

Ben Garland

Daniel Brunskill

Mike McGlinchey

Justin Skule

Colton McKivitz

Tom Compton

The interior of the offensive line is perhaps the biggest question mark on the team, especially with center Weston Richburg on the physically unable to perform list, which would keep him out a minimum of the first six weeks. Richburg’s backup at center, Ben Garland, has been battling an ankle injury in camp, which has had a ripple effect on the line. Would-be starting right guard Daniel Brunskill has been working at center, which means he has not gotten the regular reps at right guard and has had a destabilizing affect on the line going into the season.

Defensive Line: 10

Nick Bosa

Javon Kinlaw

D.J. Jones

Arik Armstead

Dee Ford

Ronald Blair

Kerry Hyder

Solomon Thomas

Kentavius Street

Kevin Givens

The defensive line might be the deepest unit on the team and there will be some quality players that will be cut, but in this atypical season perhaps some of that talent can sneak through to the practice squad.

Linebackers: 5

Kwon Alexander

Fred Warner

Dre Greenlaw

Azeez Al-Shaair

Joe Walker

The only real decision among this group comes down to Joe Walker versus Mark Nzeocha. Nzeocha was a key contributor on special teams last year, but Walker should be able to fill that role in addition to providing more versatility on defense. Walker started eleven games for Arizona last season and is a superior athlete.

Cornerback: 5

Richard Sherman

Emmanuel Moseley

K’Waun Williams

Jason Verrett

Ahkello Witherspoon

This group is talented and has a high variance of outcomes. Richard Sherman remains among the best in the league and Moseley proved to be a solid starter in replacing Witherspoon last season. Williams is perhaps the most underrated cornerback in the NFL. In Jason Verrett and Ahkello Witherspoon the 49ers have two players who are extremely talented but have not been able to fully utilize their abilities.

Safety: 5

Jimmie Ward

Jaquiski Tartt

Tarvarius Moore

Marcell Harris

(No changes to this group from last season.)

Specialists: 3

Mitch Wishnowsky

Robbie Gould

Kyle Nelson

(No changes to this group from last season.)

Practice Squad: 16

Dion Jordan

Jamar Taylor

Cameron Malveaux

Darrion Daniels

Jauan Jennings

Kevin White

JaMycal Hasty

Tim Harris

Josh Hokit

Dakoda Shepley

Hroniss Grasu

Chase Harrell

William Sweet

Jared Mayden

River Cracraft

Jeff Wilson

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