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USA Today Sports Media Group
Kyle Madson

49ers 53-man roster projection 5.0: A final guess after preseason

The 49ers preseason is over, which means all eyes now turn to the 90-man roster and the ensuing cutdown to 53 players.

San Francisco has until Tuesday at 1:00pm Pacific Time to have its roster to the 53-player maximum. Some injuries throughout the preseason make the projection a little tougher than normal and may make the 49ers do some gymnastics with players they do and don’t keep, and they may rely on some good luck on the waiver wire to get some players back.

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Let’s make one last prediction on what the 53-man roster will look like.

Quarterback (2)

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy
Sam Darnold

There’s too many number crunches at other positions to keep a third QB. If Brandon Allen gets scooped up, the 49ers can find another QB to take a practice squad spot.

Cut: Brandon Allen

Running back (4)

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey
Elijah Mitchell
Tyrion Davis-Price
Jordan Mason

It would be a pretty significant surprise if anyone from this group got let go. This is the deepest area of the team’s roster.

Cut: Jeremey McNichols, Brian Hill

Fullback (1)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Kyle Juszczyk

You know the drill.

Cut: Jack Colletto

Wide receiver (6)

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel
Brandon Aiyuk
Jauan Jennings
Ray-Ray McCloud
Ronnie Bell
Danny Gray

We had five receivers for the entire preseason, but Bell’s showing in the first two exhibition contests combined with injuries to McCloud and Gray made him impossible to keep out.

Cut: Chris Conley, Willie Snead IV, Isaiah Winstead, Tay Martin, Anthony Miller

Tight end (4)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle
Charlie Woerner
Ross Dwelley
Cameron Latu

Latu is dealing with a knee injury that could require surgery. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hit IR to clear up a roster spot. San Francisco could re-sign one of the TEs they let go, or they could roll with just three TEs with another on the practice squad for in-house depth.

Cut: Brayden Willis, Troy Fumagalli

Offensive line (8)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Williams
Colton McKivitz
Jaylon Moore
Matt Pryor
Spencer Burford
Aaron Banks
Jake Brendel
Jon Feliciano

This is a tough group to project because the depth isn’t great. Nick Zakelj is one of the cuts, but he’s a player the 49ers could re-sign after they do their maneuvers with injury lists. Any OL they let go would be a candidate for such a move.

Cut: Nick Zakelj, Leroy Watson IV, Ilm Manning, Alfredo Gutierrez Jason Poe, Joey Fisher, Keith Ismael, Corey Luciano

Defensive line (10)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Nick Bosa
Drake Jackson
Austin Bryant
Clelin Ferrell
Kerry Hyder
Arik Armstead
Javon Hargrave
Javon Kinlaw
Kevin Givens
Kalia Davis

There’s some decent depth on the offseason roster which makes trimming the group to a 53-player size is tough. Hyder gets in for his ability to play on the inside and outside, but deciding between Davis, T.Y. McGill and Marlon Davidson isn’t easy. The 2022 draft pick gets the nod here. We’re also assuming Bosa will sign by the opener.

Cut: T.Y. McGill, Marlon Davidson, Breeland Speaks, Alex Barrett. La’Darius Hamilton, Robert Beal Jr., Spencer Waege

Linebacker (5)

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Warner
Dre Greenlaw
Oren Burks
Jalen Graham
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles

It’s hard to keep more than five at LB, which means letting go of at least two, and maybe three NFL-quality players at the position. If one of the LBs they let go get through waivers it’s easy to see the 49ers trying to get them back to the 53 if there’s an open roster spot.

Cut: Dee Winters, Marcelino McCrary-Ball, Curtis Robinson, Kyahva Tezino

Cornerback (6)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Charvarius Ward
Deommodore Lenoir
Isaiah Oliver
Samuel Womack
Ambry Thomas
Darrell Luter Jr.

Things get a little weird at CB since Luter is still on the PUP list. He’ll likely stay there to start the season and will need to miss at least four weeks. Undrafted rookie D’Shawn Jamison gets let go here and the team will hope they can sneak him through waivers. If not, it could open the door to bringing back an extra LB.

Cut: D’Shawn Jamison, Qwuantrezz Knight, AJ Parker, Nate Brooks, Tre Swilling

Safety (4)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Talanoa Hufanga
Tashaun Gipson
Ji’Ayir Brown
George Odum

It’s nigh impossible to fit a fifth safety. The team could aim to bring back a safety or two on the practice squad though.

Cut: Myles Hartsfield, Tayler Hawkins

Specialists (3)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jake Moody
Mitch Wishnowsky
Taybor Pepper

A quad injury for Moody puts this group in flux. Zane Gonzalez is also out with a calf injury though so it isn’t as simple as finding a way to keep both kickers. The 49ers might just keep Moody and figure out a fallback option later in the event he’s not ready for the season opener.

Cut: Zane Gonzalez

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