53-man roster projection 3.0: Heading into 2nd preseason game

·4 min read

With another couple weeks of practices and a preseason game down, it’s time to put together another 49ers’ 53-man roster projection.

An interesting thing in this exercise is how few difficult cuts there are. It seems like the team might have a pretty obvious 53-man roster in front of them by the time all the dust settles. On the other hand, arguments can be made for keeping numbers at certain positions and eliminating roster spots for other positions, and there’ll be a couple roster battles to iron out over the final week of camp.

Our first projection was right after the draft. Our second projection came before the first preseason game.

Here’s our latest:

Quarterback (3)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Jimmy Garoppolo Trey Lance Nate Sudfeld No changes here. Josh Rosen was waived so Sudfeld has no competition for the final roster spot. The question remains whether the 49ers will keep a third quarterback on the 53-man roster.

Running back (4)

(AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Raheem Mostert Trey Sermon Wayne Gallman JaMycal Hasty Hasty is the new name here replacing rookie sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell is dealing with a hip strain that may keep him out of the preseason entirely, which would make his path to the roster a little steeper.

Fullback (1)

(AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

Kyle Juszczyk No changes here. Josh Hokit looked okay in his debut but the 49ers aren't keeping two fullbacks.

Wide receiver (6)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Brandon Aiyuk Deebo Samuel Trent Sherfield Mohamed Sanu Jauan Jennings Nsimba Webster Jennings replaces Richie James Jr. The latter has struggled with drops in camp while the former has received a ton of praise from the coaching staff for his tenacity as a receiver and as a blocker. Webster is also ahead of James for the kick return job, but that battle isn't settled just yet.

Tight end (3)

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle Ross Dwelley Charlie Woerner This is the same trio, but MyCole Pruitt returned from a calf injury and he has a real shot to get onto the roster either as a replacement for Woerner or as a fourth TE. Jordan Matthews is worth keeping an eye on too after an impressive preseason opener.

Offensive line (8)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Trent Williams Laken Tomlinson Alex Mack Aaron Banks Mike McGlinchey Daniel Brunskill Jaylon Moore Colton McKivitz The only change to this group is the elimination of Shon Coleman's roster spot. He's dealing with an injury and hasn't been great in camp. Plus the 49ers could use that additional roster spot elsewhere. There's still a chance he makes the team, but going into the second preseason game his arrow isn't pointing up.

Defensive line (10)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Nick Bosa Dee Ford Samson Ebukam Javon Kinlaw Arik Armstead DJ Jones Maurice Hurst Kevin Givens Zach Kerr Arden Key Kerr and Key both get tacked onto the list of eight on our last projection. They provide good depth at both the end and the interior. The 49ers' defensive front might be one of the NFL's deepest groups.

Linebacker (5)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Fred Warner Dre Greenlaw Azeez Al-Shaair Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles Mychal Kendricks The 49ers added Kendricks late in camp. He replaces Marcell Harris in this projection for now, but the back of the LB group could change a lot before final cuts. Kendricks has a ton of experience, which is where the 49ers' LB corps is lacking. If the team is okay with that roster spot not going to a special teams contributor, he could by the player who gets in.

Cornerback (6)

(AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

Jason Verrett Emmanuel Moseley K'Waun Williams Ambry Thomas Deommodore Lenoir Dontae Johnson San Francisco may opt to axe a cornerback spot to utilize elsewhere. Johnson would likely be the odd man out there, but he does enough on special teams and can play outside and in the slot. That should earn him a place in a thin CB group.

Safety (4)

(AP Photo/Scot Tucker)

Jimmie Ward Talanoa Hufanga Tavon Wilson Jared Mayden Our last projection stuck with five safeties. Jaquiski Tartt came off this time since it looks like he'll start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Tony Jefferson has also dealt with some injury issues that opened the door for a player like Mayden, who had a nice preseason opener.

Specialists (3)

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Robbie Gould Mitch Wishnowsky Taybor Pepper No changes here.