It looks like the Niners roster is set, but we should see some interesting positional battles in Santa Clara later this month.
We are officially less than two weeks away from the beginning of the San Francisco 49ers training camp. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch and been busy this offseason, making several rooms to round out the roster.
The 49ers have a ton of skill on both sides of the ball and are expected to be among the Super Bowl contenders for the 2021 NFL season. The returning Nick Bosa should get some on-field work during training camp following his torn ACL last season, and we will also get an in-depth look at No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance.
Here is a look at the 49ers roster going into training camp:
QB (4): Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, Josh Rosen, Nate Sudfeld.
Running back (6): Raheem Mostert, Wayne Gallman Jr., JaMycal Hasty, Trey Sermon, Elijah Mitchell., Jeff Wilson Jr. (*injured)
Fullback (2): Kyle Juszczyk, Josh Hokit.
Wide receiver (13): Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Richie James, Travis Benjamin, Jalen Hurd, Trent Sherfield, Mohamed Sanu, River Cracraft, Jauan Jennings, Kevin White, Bennie Fowler, Andy Jones, Austin Watkins Jr. (UDFA).
Tight end (5): George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner, MyCole Pruitt, Josh Pederson (UDFA)
Offensive line (17) *projected starters:
Left tackle – Trent Williams
Left guard – Laken Tomlinson
Center – Alex Mack
Right guard – Daniel Brunskill
Right tackle – Mike McGlinchey
Backups: Shon Coleman, Tom Compton, Colton McKivitz, Aaron Banks, Jaylon Moore, Senio Kelemete, Isiah Williams, Corbin Kaufusi, Dakoda Shepley, Jake Brendel, Justin Skule (*injured), Alfredo Guiterrez. *International exception (Guiterrez doesn’t count as part of the 90-man roster as an international player.)
Defensive line (15):.
Defensive end: Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Samson Ebukam, Dee Ford, Arden Key, Alex Barrett, Kentavius Street, Daeshon Hall, Jordan Willis (*suspended for the first six games of the 2021 season)
Defensive tackle: Javon Kinlaw, D.J. Jones, Zach Kerr, Maurice Hurst, Kevin Givens, Darrion Daniels,
Linebacker (8): Fred Warner (Mike), Dre Greenlaw (Will), Azeez Al-Shaair (Sam), Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, James Burgess, Jonas Griffith, Justin Hilliard (UDFA), Elijah Sullivan (UDFA).
Cornerback (9): Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, K’Waun Williams, Dontae Johnson, Tim Harris, Ken Webster, Ambry Thomas, Demmondore Lenoir, Mark Fields.
Safety (9): Jimmie Ward (free safety), Jaquiski Tartt (strong safety), Marcell Harris, Talanoa Hufanga, Tony Jefferson, Tavon Wilson, Jared Mayden, Kai Nacua, Tavarius Moore (*injured).
Special teams (3): Robbie Gould (kicker), Mitchell Wishnowky (punter), Taybor Pepper (long-snapper).
The 49ers currently have 91 players slated to be at camp. However, Guiterrez won’t count against the 90-man limit because he’s an international player.
It will be interesting to see how a few position-battles shake out at the end of the month. But, of course, all eyes will be on the quarterbacks.
The presumption is that incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo will be under center for Week 1. Still, everyone will want to see how Lance looks after getting some training time in following rookie camp and OTAs.
Shanahan liked what he saw from Garoppolo at OTAs, offering up this analysis early last month.
“I think Jimmy had his best spring since we’ve had him,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “We had the spring the first year with him. The second-year he had the ACL, so we didn’t get that. And then last year, it was COVID, so this is really his second one not being on an ACL.
“I thought Jimmy came in in great shape, really locked in, a good place physically and mentally. And I thought he had as good of OTAs as he’s had.”
But the head coach is open to seeing how the competition plays out. If Lance outperforms Garoppolo during camp and the preseason, it’s hard not to imagine Shanahan going with the rookie for the season-opener against the Detroit Lions.
Another position to keep an eye on is the right guard spot. Brunskill appears to have the inside track, but Banks could challenge him for the starting spot. Brunskill has been effective while filling in at multiple positions over the past two seasons, and perhaps Shanahan and co. will be comfortable keeping him as their utility offensive lineman.
The third group to watch at training camp is the wide receivers. Barring something unforeseen, Samuel and Aiyuk will be at the top of the depth chart come Week 1. It will be fascinating to see who will replace the departed Kendrick Bourne as the third receiver.
James, Benjamin, Hurd, Jennings and Sherfield appear to be the most likely options, but that is definitely something to keep an eye on when the 49ers hit the field.
Do you think Brunskill or Banks ends up starting at right guard, and what’s your prediction on which player will win the role as the No. 3 receiver?