Analyzing The San Francisco 49ers’ Initial 53-Man Roster

The San Francisco 49ers cut their roster from 90 to 53 ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline. While several players who were released or waived ahead of the deadline will make it to the 17-man practice squad, others have played their final game with the 49ers.

We already saw San Francisco make a significant move ahead of the deadline, sending quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys on Friday. That pretty much settles the quarterback situation in Northern California, with Brandon Allen now on the 53.

Wide receivers Danny Gray and Ray-Ray McCloud are expected to miss several weeks due to injury. Neither player was placed on injured reserve ahead of Tuesday’s roster cut deadline. That would have forced them to miss the entire 2023 season. The same thing can’t be said for rookie tight end Cameron Latu who was placed on injured reserve with a torn meniscus in his knee Cheap nfl jersey.

Will Grier showed out in his final appearance with the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. He could be an option after being released by Dallas.

Running Backs (5)

San Francisco 49ers' Jordan Mason against the Los Angeles Chargers
Despite losing a fumble in the San Francisco 49ers’ preseason finale, Jordan Mason made it on to the … [+]GETTY IMAGES

Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Ty Davis-Price, Jordan Mason, Kyle Juszczyk

Veterans Jeremy McNichols and Brian Hill were the odd men out. One will likely land on the 49ers’ practice squad. Ty Davis-Price did enough during the preseason to earn a spot on the 53. Despite a fumble in the preseason finale, Mason’s downhill running ability is something nice to have as a reserve.

At fullback, undrafted free agent Jack Colletto will likely find himself on the practice squad should another team not claim him. He impressed big time during the summer and could eventually be the heir apparent to Juszczyk moving forward. But it was risky to expose him to waivers.

Tight Ends (4)

George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley, Brayden Willis

With Latu going on injured reserve, San Francisco’s tight end situation is not great. Woerner was rostered because of his blocking ability, not his pass-catching ability (eight receptions in three seasons). A veteran of five seasons with San Francisco, Dwelley caught a mere three passes in 12 games last year.

It was interesting to see San Francisco keep rookie seventh-round pick Brayden Willis out of Oklahoma. He offers the most upside from a pass-catching perspective of any San Francisco tight end outside of Kittle. This is one position I expect San Francisco to look outside of the organization for an upgrade ahead of Week 1.

Wide Receivers (6)

San Francisco 49ers' Ronnie Bell against the Denver Broncos.
Ronne Bell’s preseason performance made him a lock for the San Francisco 49ers’ 53-man roster. … [+]GETTY IMAGES

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

This situation is a bit cloudy due to injuries to both McCloud and Gray. I expect both to be placed on injured reserve after final cuts, enabling them to return at some point in the first half of the season. At that point, the 49ers will likely re-sign Willie Snead and Chris Conley to the active roster or practice squad after they were released in final cuts.

However, Ronnie Bell is the name to watch here. The seventh-round pick from Michigan showed out big time during the preseason. Will it be enough for him to earn a big role heading into the regular season? Time will tell on that front.

Offensive Line (9)

Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford, Colton McKivitz, Jaylon Moore, Matt Pryor, John Feliciano, Nick Zakelj

San Francisco typically keeps eight offensive linemen. But with question marks at right tackle and guard, going with nine made sense.

That’s where veterans Pryor and Feliciano come into play. Both can suit up at multiple positions, creating a ton of versatility off the bench. As for former undrafted free agent Jason Poe, San Francisco is hoping to hide the talented second-year player on the practice squad for another season after waiving him on Tuesday.