Final cuts are quickly approaching as teams around the league look to set their rosters. The San Francisco 49ers have until 4 PM Eastern time on Saturday to whittle their roster down to 53 players. With just a couple of days until the deadline we take a moment to predict what the final roster will look like, come Sunday morning.
Jimmy Garoppolo; Nick Mullens
Are we surprised here? It’s time to admit that mistakes were made when C.J. Beathard was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. We won’t get into the options available at that time but it is important to admit that Beathard, for all his toughness, is not worth the roster space. Besides, that spot could be used to hold on to one of the talented receivers on the bubble.
Running Back (5)
Raheem Mostert; Tevin Coleman; Jerrick McKinnon; Jeff Wilson Jr. Kyle Juszcyzk
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If Kyle Shanahan rode the hot hand, the 49ers would be the defending Super Bowl champions. Raheem Mostert has earned the nod to be the listed starter. However, as Shanahan has shown, he will switch things up depending on what he sees from the defense and how effective the player has been. No surprises here but expect Jamycal Hasty to be stashed on the practice squad if he’s not claimed. Keep an eye on McKinnon, reports have him as a likely breakout player this season.
Wide Receiver (7)
Deebo Samuel; Brandon Aiyuk; Kendrick Bourne; Trent Taylor; Dante Pettis; Richie James Jr.; Jauan Jennings
If healthy, it’s difficult to dislike this group. Yes, the loss of Emmanuel Sanders during free agency is a blow. However, the addition of Aiyuk gives this offense something it has lacked since Kyle Shanahan arrived in Santa Clara. Aiyuk’s speed and athleticism will test defenses and be a welcomed addition to the offense. A healthy Trent Taylor could be special this season as well.
Tight End (4)
George Kittle; Jordan Reed; Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner
No surprises here. Kittle is the best tight end in the league. Reed could be TE1 for most teams in the NFL if there weren’t injury concerns for the veteran. This is the best unit in the league.
Offensive Line (9)
Trent Williams; Mike McGlinchey; Laken Tomlinson; Justin Skule; Daniel Brunskill; Ben Garland; Tom Compton; Colton McKivitz; Ross Reynolds
Weston Richburg is likely heading to the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the season. That could keep him out for the first half of the year. In his place is Ben Garland who played fairly well at the end of last season. Trent Williams looks the part of a monster and if he plays well, this line could be even better.
Defensive Line (8)
Arik Armstead; Nick Bosa; Dee Ford; D.J. Jones; Javon Kinlaw; Solomon Thomas; Kentavius Street; Dion Jordan
What to do at the end of the roster. Jordan provides a veteran presence who can still play at a solid level. However, the 49ers will have their eyes on Julian Taylor and Ronald Blair III who could both return by week six. If that is the case, who is the odd-man-out other than Jordan?
Kwon Alexander; Dre Greenlaw; Fred Warner; Azeez Al-Shaair; Joe Walker
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The starting three is one of the most dynamic groups out there. As a whole, there is a ton of athleticism here. However, it will be a battle to see who gets the call beyond Al-Shaair. It will be interesting to see if the group can stay healthy this season because the depth is questionable at best.
Richard Sherman; K’Waun Williams; Emmanuel Moseley; Akhello Witherspoon; Tarvarius Moore; Tim Harris
The 49ers just released Jamar Taylor who filled in for Williams during training camp. Moseley and Witherspoon are battling for the starting job opposite of Sherman. The rest of the group is a toss-up as Moore feels suited better for safety but has been used outside. Don’t be surprised if the team sticks to five cornerbacks to start the season.
Jimmie Ward; Jaquiski Tartt; Jonathan Cyprien; Marcell Harris
Ward and Tartt are the obvious starters. The duo is set to get even better this season. Cyprien is the question mark. He’s made plays this training camp but it comes down to what the 49ers see in the young guys in the secondary.
Special Teams (3)
K: Robbie Gould; P: Mike Wishnowsky; LS: Kyle Nelson
How unsurprising, no changes here on special teams. The hope is Wishnowsky has worked out the kinks and can build on a solid second half of his rookie season in 2019.
At the end of the day, a lot can change once the cuts are made on Saturday. It is entirely possible that another group of cuts come as the 49ers battle with the rest of the league to place waiver claims and sign recently released players. The 49ers are looking to fine-tune their roster and it is foolish to think they will find a major upgrade for any current or expected starter, this late in the process. However, a team is only as good as the bottom of the roster. Then again, this entire exercise is a waste of time if the team keeps three quarterbacks on the roster.
– Ryan Adverderada is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage 49ers. He also covered the Arizona Cardinals for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on Follow @ryanadverderada