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Something on each position on 49ers initial 53-man roster

Something on each position on 49ers initial 53-man roster

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The 49ers on Tuesday announced their cuts and roster moves to get their regular season roster down to 53 players.

They wound up keeping two quarterbacks, four running backs, a fullback, six wide receivers, three tight ends, eight offensive linemen, 11 defensive lineman, five linebackers, six cornerbacks, four safeties and three specialists to round out their initial 53-man group.

In the coming days there’ll be changes and tweaks to the roster, but this is a quick position-by-position rundown of what was first announced Tuesday:

Quarterback

Jimmy Garoppolo Trey Lance Cut: Nate Sudfeld Nothing major here. Sudfeld is a practice squad candidate, and his exclusion from the 53-man roster is another indicator the 49ers feel okay about Lance’s injured finger.

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Running back

Raheem Mostert Trey Sermon JaMycal Hasty Elijah Mitchell Cut: Wayne Gallman, Jeff Wilson Jr. (placed on PUP list) This group is very deep, and it doesn’t even include Wilson who’ll begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Gallman may wind up on the practice squad after a strong preseason showing. The 49ers should be able to run the ball well regardless of which of their running backs is on the field, and their attention to depth at this position may be an indicator of which direction their offense may ultimately go if Lance eventually starts under center.

Fullback

Kyle Juszczyk Cut: Josh Hokit This was the easiest call on the roster. Hokit may eventually be a starter in the NFL, but Juszczyk is the best, most versatile fullback in the game.

Wide receiver

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Deebo Samuel Brandon Aiyuk Trent Sherfield Mohamed Sanu Jalen Hurd Jauan Jennings Cut: Travis Benjamin, Nsimba Webster, River Cracraft It was a little surprising that both Hurd and Jennings made the roster while both Benjamin and Webster were let go. The latter pair are the speedy, kick returner types. Hurd and Jennings are bigger, more physical receivers who make up for a lack of top-end speed with their size and strength. One of the returners could make their way back to the roster, but the receivers behind Samuel and Aiyuk are going to add an element of physicality that could be an even bigger headache for defenses making plays after the catch.

Tight end

George Kittle Ross Dwelley Charlie Woerner Cut: MyCole Pruitt, Jordan Matthews It’s a bit of a surprise the 49ers only kept three tight ends. Matthews’ inexperience at the position made him a long-shot for the final roster. Pruitt didn’t have a great chance to carve out a role after dealing with a calf injury for most of camp. One or both could be back on the practice squad. It’ll be interesting to see whether they try to get more in the passing game from Dwelley and/or Woerner this season.

Offensive line

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Trent Williams Laken Tomlinson Alex Mack Daniel Brunskill Mike McGlinchey Aaron Banks Jaylon Moore Tom Compton Cut: Jake Brendel, Senio Kelemete, Alfredo Gutierrez, Corbin Kaufusi, Colton McKivitz, Dakoda Shepley, Shon Coleman (placed on Injured Reserve) It’s a bit of a surprise to see McKivitz let go ahead of his second season, but this is a versatile group with multiple players who can fit in different roles. Compton spent time this offseason at tackle, as did Moore. The latter may eventually work in at right guard. This unit should be fine if they stay healthy.

Defensive line

Nick Bosa Dee Ford Samson Ebukam Arden Key Arik Armstead Javon Kinlaw DJ Jones Kentavius Street Kevin Givens Zach Kerr Maurice Hurst Cuts: Alex Barrett, Eddie Yarbrough, Darrion Daniels This defensive line is extremely deep. 11 is a ton of players to keep, but there are 11 NFL-caliber players here. The 49ers rode a relentless, deep defensive front to a Super Bowl berth in 2019 and this year’s front is built to serve the same purpose.

Linebacker

Fred Warner Dre Greenlaw Azeez Al-Shaair Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles Marcell Harris Cut: Justin Hilliard, Elijah Sullivan, Jonas Griffith (Traded to Broncos) Where the linebacking corps lacks in experience it makes up for in athleticism. Both Flannigan-Fowles and Harris are converted safeties who’ll contribute a ton on special teams. Griffith looked primed to take a roster spot, but he was traded to Denver for draft picks. While this is a thin group, Warner, Greenlaw and Al-Shaair might be the best starting LB trio in the NFL.

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Cornerback

Jason Verrett Emmanuel Moseley K’Waun Williams Deommodore Lenoir Ambry Thomas Davontae Harris Cut: Dontae Johnson, Alexander Myres Harris was perhaps the biggest surprise on the roster after getting claimed off waivers from the Ravens in the middle of camp and then missing parts of practice and the final preseason game. This was never going to be an exceedingly deep unit. Lenoir’s emergence in the preseason as an option outside and in the slot should help them better withstand an injury.

Safety

Jimmie Ward Jaquiski Tartt Talanoa Hufanga Tavon Wilson Cut: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Jared Mayden, Tarvarius Moore (placed on PUP list) Tartt’s return helped this group’s depth immensely. Ward will start at free safety, and the starting strong safety could be any of the other three.

Specialists

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K Robbie Gould P Mitch Wishnowsky LS Taybor Pepper Cuts: N/A No questions or battles here. This is and has been the group.

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