San Francisco held its rookie minicamp over the weekend. What better time for a ridiculously early look at how the 49ers 53-man roster will shake out.
Quarterback: (3) Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, Sam Darnold
Purdy is the leader in the clubhouse after winning eight in a row. Surgery to repair the elbow injury suffered during the NFC championship game loss puts his status in doubt. The next update will come around 12 weeks post-surgery which is June 2. Stay tuned.
With Purdy on the shelf, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold will compete for the opportunity to start. This will be an interesting one to keep an eye on, but Lance should be able to get the nod.
Running Back: (4) Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, Ty Davis-Price
McCaffrey is the unquestioned starter. Mason took over the “closer” role late in the year in Mitchell’s absence. Those two will compete for the second running back role while Davis-Price fights to stay on the roster.
Fullback: (1) Kyle Juszczyk
Juszczyk is a lock to make the roster. The only question is if his versatility affords the 49ers the ability to keep just three tight ends on the roster.
Wide Receiver: (6) Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, Danny Gray, Ronnie Bell (R)
One through four are set. Last year the 49ers kept just five receivers on their initial 53-man roster. If they choose to go that route again it will make for a tough decision. Danny Gray brings speed, while Bell showed the ability fight for the ball during rookie minicamp.
Tight End: (4) George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Cameron Latu (R), Brayden Willis (R)
Dwelley’s ability to contribute on special teams earns him the nod over Charlie Woerner. Latu has the ability as a blocker to replace Woerner’s role in the offense.
Willis shows ability as a move tight end but is likely the odd man out if the team decided to go with just three.
Offensive Line: (8) Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford, Colton McKivitz, Jon Feliciano, Nick Zakelj, Jaylon Moore
San Francisco returns four starters from a season ago. Colton McKivitz is penciled in to replace Mike McGlinchey at right tackle. Spencer Burford could be called upon to compete there as well after starting at right guard last season.
Look for Jon Feliciano to compete for a starting role at right guard. The veteran has played all three interior spots in his career.
Defensive Line: (9) Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrave, Drake Jackson, Javon Kinlaw, Kevin Givens, Clelin Ferrell, Kalia Davis, Robert Beal Jr. (R)
San Francisco will look to Drake Jackson to replace Samson Ebukam as the starting defensive end opposite Nick Bosa. Kerry Hyder Jr. and Austin Bryant end up being the odd men out due to the special teams ability of the rookie Robert Beal Jr.
Veteran T.Y. McGill will provide competition along the interior of the defensive line as will undrafted free agent Spencer Waege.
Linebacker: (6) Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Oren Burks, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Marcelino McCrary-Ball, Jalen Graham (R)
San Francisco is stacked at linebacker.
Burks is a special teams ace who can start and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles has shown that ability as well.
Marcelino McCrary-Ball was impressive during training camp last year. He and Jalen Graham make the roster over Dee Winters. Graham looked better than Winters during rookie minicamp.
Cornerback: (5) Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir, Isaiah Oliver, Samuel Womack, Darrell Luter Jr. (R)
Isaiah Oliver replaces Jimmie Ward as the starting nickelback.
The 49ers seemed to have lost faith in Ambry Thomas last year and is replaced by Darrell Luter Jr. on the roster. The rookie’s ability to play press man coverage makes him a better fit for new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’ scheme.
Safety: (4) Talanoa Hufanga, Tashaun Gipson, George Odum, Ji’Ayir Brown (R)
No surprises here. Gipson will start with Brown pushing for snaps. Odum is a special teams ace.
Specialists: (3) Jake Moody (R), Mitchell Wishnowsky, Taybor Pepper
A lot of fans were moody over the 49ers taking a kicker in the third round; however the former Michigan standout’s strong leg will pay big dividends this season.