Reviewing and Analyzing the 49ers Initial 53-Man Roster and Practice Squad


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On Saturday, the 49ers completed their arduous cutdown of their offseason 80-man roster to the 53-man squad the team will carry into the first game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals. On Sunday they completed this process by finalizing their initial group of 16 players that will make up their Practice Squad.

When asked about the construction and makeup of the roster and practice squad, General Manager John Lynch said "First and foremost, putting the best possible collection of the right 53, and, you know arriving there is always a great competition at a lot of different spots. The numbers on the practice squad going up to 16 was implemented because of COVID but it's something I love. It gives you some nice flexibility. I'm really excited about the group we kept both in young developmental players and these vets that entrusted us as a place that they want to be, you know, I think it speaks to, guys enjoy it when they come here and they want to be a part of what they believe will be something special."

Breaking down each position group, you can see some of the thought processes that went into the construction of the roster.

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo

Nick Mullens

C.J. Beathard

Just like last year, the 49ers opted to keep three QBs on the roster. The crisis with COVID still raging through America likely played into this decision, as keeping three signal callers on the depth chart ensures that should one get sick, it will not derail your offense.

Running Backs

Tevin Coleman

Raheem Mostert

Jerick McKinnon

Jeff Wilson Jr.

Kyle Juszczyk

With a fully healthy Jerick McKinnon, the 49ers opted to keep 4 RBs in addition to Juszczyk at FB. None of the RBs picked up following the draft process made the final roster, as the team prioritized experience and familiarity while making their decisions.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Aiyuk

Deebo Samuel

Richie James

Kendrick Bourne

Dante Pettis

Trent Taylor

Shortly before the final 53-man roster was announced, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco revealed that the team would be removing WR Deebo Samuel off of the Non-Football Injury list after rehabbing from the surgery he had on his foot this offseason. Should Samuel be ready for Week 1, the wide receiver group looks especially deep.

Tight Ends

George Kittle

Jordan Reed

Ross Dwelley

Charlie Woerner

The 49ers were finally able to land their second receiving tight end threat to help take some pressure off of TE1 George Kittle. Reed has looked good in minimal reps at camp, but adding him to the equation will cause nightmares along the middle of the field for opposing defenses.

Offensive Line

Mike McGlinchey

Trent Williams

Laken Tomlinson

Daniel Brunskill

Tom Compton

Ben Garland

Colton McKivitz

Justin Skule

Last year’s draft pick of Skule and signing of Daniel Brunskill paid dividends through the myriad of injuries the offensive line dealt with last season and kept them in contention for their ultimate Super Bowl berth. This season will test the resolve of the group early, as C Weston Richburg will start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and will be ineligible to practice or play for the first six weeks of the season.

Defensive Line

Arik Armstead

Nick Bosa

Dee Ford

Kevin Givens

Kerry Hyder Jr.

D.J. Jones

Javon Kinlaw

Kentavius Street

Solomon Thomas

While the defensive line will look markedly different without previous stalwart DeForest Buckner, Adding Givens and Street into the rotation as inside pass rushers will help lessen the regression of productivity along the inside of the line and should help keep the defensive line one of the teams core strengths.

Linebackers

Kwon Alexander

Dre Greenlaw

Azeez Al-Shair

Mark Nzeocha

Demetrius Flanagan-Fowles

Fred Warner*

While Fred Wsrner is not officially part of the 53-man roster to start the season due to being on the Reserve/COVID list, the team left the roster at 52 and are clearly planning for him to be available sooner than later. Whether he will be available for Week 1 will be something we will keep monitoring.

Cornerbacks

Richard Sherman

K’Waun Williams

Jason Verrett

Emmanuel Moseley

Ahkello Witherspoon

The Cornerback corps remains largely the same as it did to start the season last year. The main difference is that CB Jason Verrett appears to be fully healthy from the injuries that limited his snaps last season before ultimately landing him on the injured reserve list.

Safeties

Jimmie Ward

Jaquiski Tartt

Marcell Harris

Tarvarius Moore

No change at all to the group as it was last year. Though Safety Johnathan Cyprien made a case for himself to be a part of the Week 1 roster, the team ultimately sided with familiarity and experience with their initial makeup.

Specialists

Robbie Gould

Mitch Wishnowsky

Kyle Nelson

No change from last year and no competition.

Practice Squad

WR River Cracraft

S Johnathan Cyprien

DL Darrion Daniels

OL Hroniss Grasu

TE Chase Harrell

CB Tim Harris Jr.

RB JaMycal Hasty

FB Josh Hokit

WR Jauan Jennings

CB Dontae Johnson

DL Dion Jordan

S Jared Mayden

OL Dakoda Shepley

OL William Sweet

LB Joe Walker

WR Kevin White

Due to the ongoing pandemic, waiver claims following each team’s roster cutdown were minimal compared to previous years.

The 49ers had no claims made against any of their players and made no successful claims themselves.The Practice Squad has a good mix of youth and experience as well as fundamental talent and physical prowess. Honing and grooming this group into future contributors will be something I see the 49ers taking great pleasure in

What do you think of the Roster and Practice Squad? Any changes you would’ve made? Let us know on twitter!

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