49ers: Projected Mock 53 Man Roster, Who Makes It and Why

San Francisco 49ers final roster cuts are soon upon us and Niners Live will try to give fans our mock projection of the 53 man roster.


San Francisco 49ers final 53 man roster projections:

1.Quarterbacks (2): 49ers keep two Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick the obvious no secret here.

Practice squad we’ve got Jeff Driskel on the practice squad and Christian Ponder not making the team.


2. Running backs (4): 49ers keep four Carlos Hyde, Shaun Draughn, Mike Davis and DuJuan Harris. We’ve got Kelvin Taylor going to the practice squad and why do the 49ers keep four running backs?  

Well, Hyde’s health along with Draughn’s are a concern and base on the workload from Mike Davis and DuJuan Harris in preseason both make the team. 

Bonus inside game with HB/TE/FB Bruce Miller moving to TE this makes keeping four here even more realistic and how Coach Kelly likes to run the ball.

Draughn provides special team’s value as well for a full breakdown click on the link above.

3.Wide receivers (6): Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley, Quinton Patton, DeAndrew White, Dres Anderson, DeAndre Smelter. 

This is a tough call, but I can’t see 49ers giving up on Smelter after just one year, so we’ve got the odd men out of Devon Cajuste and Aaron Burbridge practice squad if they pass waivers.

4.Tight ends (4): Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Bruce Miller, Blake Bell easy money here Vance Breakout year and Celek is a good 1/B/Robin sidekick to Vance who will emerge as Batman no pun intended. Also, Bruce brings a high level of versatility as recently mentioned on Niners Live and Blake Bell will continue his development in year two with his high upside and mismatch potential.

5.Offensive linemen (10): Joe Staley, Zane Beadles, Daniel Kilgore, Andrew Tiller, Joshua Garnett, Trent Brown, Anthony Davis, Marcus Martin, John Theus, Fahn Cooper. The 49ers have a good group right here and quality depth with the promising young talent I doubt you can afford to risk letting anyone go from this group especially after last season issues on the line 49ers take no chances stack up here, keeping 10. Please see closing thoughts.

6.Defensive line (7): DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Quinton Dial, Glenn Dorsey, Ronald Blair, Garrison Smith, Mike Purcell.

The odd man out here is Tony Jerod-Eddie and Garrison Smith led all 49er defensive linemen with 15 tackles and two sacks in the preseason, via the team’s website.

Important to note: the availability of Glenn Dorsey being ready for the opener will, even more, determine Tony Jerod-Eddie’s fate, however, it looks like he’s the odd man out here.

7.Linebackers (8): Ahmad Brooks, NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Eli Harold, Tank Carradine, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Nick Bellore and Niners Live favorite sleeper player Marcus Rush.

First off we believe Ray-Ray won the starting job next to Bowman as recently discussed on Niners Live. And, secondly Tank has improved big time in the preseason, Wilhoite led all linebackers in tackles with 22 he’s not perfect, but he’s steady and can play the “will” and “Mike” positions on defense.

Nick Bellore has much value as a special teamer and can play inside and outside linebacker.

The Odd man out? Sorry Gerald Hodges and Shane Skov alone would give him a run for his money, especially on special teams. Bonus Skov is a sleeper.

8.Defensive backs (10): Tramaine Brock, Jimmie Ward, Antoine Bethea, Eric Reid, Chris Davis, Keith Reaser, Jaquiski Tartt, Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson, Marcus Cromartie.

This one is tough because of being a fan of LJ. McCray but his late to the party in the preseason due to recovery from a previous knee injury has open the door for Cromartie who can play special teams/corner and safety.

Another favorite (Dontae Johnson) is a casualty base on the emergence of Davis, Redmond, Reaser and Robinson recently had an interception and is similar in height as Johnson.

9.Specialists (3): Phil Dawson, Bradley Pinion, Kyle Nelson

Final thoughts on the roster:

In closing, you’ll notice my count is 54 I’m one over why is that? Well, some candidates could be going to the pulp return later list players such as Dorsey, Smelter, or Will Redmond either one could bring that down to 53.

We’ve not seen Dorsey yet or Smelter although he was in uniform against Chargers he didn’t play so the 49ers could go here as an option.


If  Zane Beadles can play center as well as both guard positions; as he’s been getting practice reps, then  Marcus Martin is the odd man out, and the 49ers carry (9), and that makes my 53 man projected roster. The 49ers usually carry (9) and seven suits up on game day.

Here’s the curve ball base on  Zane Beadles signed a three-year 10-11 million contract the 49ers could throw a curve ball and say Marcus Martin is cheaper and younger. However, Martin is the bubble guy here, and he’d probably be the first to go.

Niners Live has also taken the liberty to provide links to player breakdowns on previously featured articles aforementioned.

Additional information:

Reserve/non-football injury (out for the season)
NT Ian Williams

Reserve/suspended list (first four games)
OLB Aaron Lynch

Injured reserve (out for the season)
WR Bruce Ellington
WR Eric Rogers
QB Thad Lewis