Position-by-position analysis of 49ers' initial 53-man roster for 2019
Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard
Yes, the 49ers were open to trading Mullens or Beathard. And, yes, there were trade discussions. But no teams were willing to meet the price the 49ers were seeking.
“While we had discussions, we never deviated from what that price was for us and nobody ever met it, and so we were happen to carry the three,” Lynch said. “We believe that’s a great position to be in a position of strength.”
Shanahan will meet on Monday with Mullens and Beathard to inform them of his decision at the backup spot. Mullens is the clear favorite.
Running back (4)
Tevin Coleman, Kyle Juszczyk, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert
The only question as the 49ers entered the weekend was whether they would keep Jeff Wilson on their roster. He was the last player to receive the news on Saturday afternoon. The 49ers would like to bring him back to the practice squad, if he clears waivers.
The 49ers would have kept a fourth halfback if Jerick McKinnon were healthy. But he will require another procedure on his right knee, Lynch confirmed.
McKinnon went on injured reserve at the beginning of the season for the second year in a row. He is not eligible to return this season.
“We sought a lot of opinions on this, ultimately the decision was made that he needs to undergo another procedure,” Lynch said. “Being ready in eight weeks wasn’t going to be an option.”
Wide receiver (7)
Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Trent Taylor, Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James
Taylor and Hurd are not expected to be ready for Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so the 49ers kept an extra wide receiver. Kendrick Bourne got the call over veteran Jordan Matthews.
“Jordan Matthews, nothing but a professional, kind of a victim of circumstance,” Lynch said. “The draft aligned such that it did, we went out and got two receivers and that made it an uphill battle for Jordan.”
Tight end (4)
George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Levine Toilolo, Kaden Smith
The 49ers went heavy at tight end with three reserves behind Kittle. Lynch said Dwelley was the most improved player on the roster from last season, and the 49ers also saw plenty of good things from Levine and Smith, a sixth-round draft pick.
“That was a tough call, but we felt there were four worthy of being on the roster,” Lynch said.
Offensive line (8)
Joe Staley, Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Mike McGlinchey, Mike Person, Ben Garland, Justin Skule, Daniel Brunskill
The 49ers kept eight offensive linemen, and the competition will continue between Skule and Brunskill to see which player will serve as the swing tackle to back up Staley and McGlinchey. The 49ers released veteran tackle Sam Young on Friday to open the door for the younger players.
“Both Justin Skule and Dan Brunskill, both have played guard and tackle,” Lynch said. “Brunskill has really played all five positions in this preseason.”
Defensive line (10)
DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Sheldon Day, Ronald Blair, D.J. Jones, Jullian Taylor, Kentavius Street
One roster spot will open up on Sunday when the club places Street on injured reserve. Street must sit out for eight weeks but he will be eligible to return later in the season.
Damontre Moore and Jeremiah Valoaga had strong preseasons, but the 49ers felt good about Blair as the team’s top edge rusher behind nickel Ford and Bosa. The 49ers believe Bosa has a good chance to be ready for the regular-season opener at Tampa Bay.
Kwon Alexander, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Mark Nzeocha, Azeez Al-Shaair
The 49ers cut Elijah Lee and David Mayo, which was a direct result of the promise that saw him rookies Greenlaw and Al-Shaair. The 49ers believe Al-Shaair has a good future, and they did not want to take the risk of placing him on waivers in hopes of keeping him on the practice squad.
Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams, Emmanuel Moseley, D.J. Reed, Jason Verrett
Verrett wins a roster spot despite an ankle injury on Aug. 7 keep him off the field for each of the four preseason games. Reed gives the 49ers a little versatility with his ability to play outside, nickel back or, even, free safety.
Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Tarvarius Moore
The 49ers are likely to add some depth at safety in the next day or two -- perhaps using the roster spot that opens with Street going on injured reserve. The big moves were the decisions to release Marcell Harris, Adrian Colbert and Antone Exum. The club is likely to re-sign Exum when Kentavius Street goes on IR.
Robbie Gould, Mitch Wishnowsky, Colin Holba
This group is set, but after six weeks another decision must be made. Kyle Nelson will serve the remainder of his 10-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Then, the 49ers must decide between Nelson and Holba.