49ers initial 53-man roster; Seven rookies make the cut

The San Francisco 49ers made several roster moves on Tuesday to get down to their initial 53-man roster.

Rookie tight end Cameron Latu was placed on injured reserve. The third-round selection suffered a torn meniscus in his knee during the preseason finale Friday night. Latu was joined on injured reserve by kicker Zane Gonzalez who injured his calf during warmups Friday, safety Tayler Hawkins who required surgery for a hand injury and cornerback A.J. Parker.

Another rookie, defensive back Darrell Luter Jr., was placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. As a result, the fifth-round draft pick must miss at least the first four games of the regular season.

Among the veterans released were defensive linemen Austin Bryant and Kerry Hyder Jr. Both are expected to re-sign with the team tomorrow.

Now the 49ers will get to work assembling their practice squad. They can sign up to 17 players including Alredo Gutierrez. San Francisco gets an exemption for keeping the offensive tackle from Mexico as part of the NFL’s International focus.

Here is the 2023 San Francisco 49ers initial 53-man roster:

Quarterback (3)

Brock Purdy, Sam Darnold, Brandon Allen

The only question here was if Allen would be on the roster or if he would be released. He wasn’t going to be back with San Francisco if they tried to place him on the practice squad.

Running Back (5)

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

No surprises here. McCaffrey is one of the best backs in the league. Mitchell meanwhile is very good when healthy, something he has struggled with throughout his first two seasons.

This is likely the final season as a 49er for Juszczyk. The fullback’s cap hit goes up significantly next year and it’s unlikely San Francisco will look to extend his contract further into the future.

Wide Receiver (6)

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

Ray-Ray McCloud and Danny Gray are both injured and expected to miss the start of the season. Look for the 49ers to try and bring back Willie Snead and Tay Martin or Isaiah Winstead to the practice squad.

Tight End (4)

George Kittle, Brayden Willis (R), Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner

Cameron Latu being placed on IR paved the way for Woerner to make the roster. San Francisco will likely try to add Troy Fumagalli to the practice squad.

Offensive Line (9)

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

Keeping Nick Zakelj on the roster is a surprise. The 2022 draft pick struggled with penalties throughout the preseason. It’s likely he will end up on the practice squad to make room elsewhere.

Moore will serve as the primary backup at left tackle with Pryor the backup at right tackle.

Defensive Line (8)

Drake Jackson, Javon Hargrave, Arik Armstead, Clelin Ferrell, Javon Kinlaw, Kevin Givens, Kalia Davis, Robert Beal Jr. (R)

It’s a surprise to see Beal Jr. make the initial roster. Beal Jr, a rookie fifth round pick, missed most of training camp due to injury. By having him on the initial roster San Francisco can place Beal on IR with a designation to return. This will allow the team to add Austin Bryan or Kerry Hyder.

Linebacker (6)

Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Oren Burks, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Dee Winters (R), Jalen Graham (R)

No surprises here. Burks is a core special teams contributor who has shown the ability to start at linebacker. The two rookies, Winters and Graham, were impressive throughout training camp.

Cornerback (5)

Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir, Samuel Womack, Ambry Thomas, Isaiah Oliver

Oliver struggled in training camp and preseason. The only reason he is on the roster over D’Shawn Jamison is the $2.91 million in guaranteed money the 49ers gave to the veteran in free agency.

Safety (4)

Talanoa Hufanga, Tashaun Gipson, JiAyir Brown (R), George Odum

Hufanga and Gipson were very good at creating turnovers in 2022. Brown was the top draft pick for the 49ers and Odum is an All-Pro on special teams.

Specialists (3)

Jake Moody (R), Mitch Wishnowsky, Taybor Pepper

Jake Moody is dealing with a quad injury. San Francisco may need to sign a kicker to start the season.

This article has 17 Comments

  1. Jack,
    Both Bryant and Hyder are going to resign tomorrow. Robert Beal will be placed on IR. They will have to place a 2nd D lineman on IR. Who do you think it will be. I’m guessing K. Davis.

  2. The players that were waived/cut that I think are most likely to be signed to another teams 53 are Jamison, Colleto, Snead, Conley and McCrary-Ball

  3. ok this is just 9ers under ks, they draft a K in the 3rd and now they need to find a kicker, you cant make this stuff up. just more of the same
    ihmo on the positions
    qb allen take a shot will grier who looks a lil bit like purdy
    rb if they can get good return trade mitchell, Demetric Felton/Zonovan Knight offer more. mitchell, mason and tdp are all very similar
    te Jesus dwelley, ks can put together the best 3 TE possible on a team and still have him as the 4th, he must have something on ks and that is why he is still somehow on the team. just let it go
    t pryor? MUST be upgraded
    g zakelj? MUST be upgraded or use that spot on a diff position, coaching keep talking about how he has improve so much, but he is still one of the worse on the team, so how bad was he when they drafted him
    dt givens, prefer someone w size to stop the run, he isnt that good rushing the passer
    lb df-f/burks too many lb’s, trade one of the ST burks makes the most so that make sense to clear cap, df-f is a fa next year.
    cb had jamison making the team, doesn’t have the size but does have sticky coverage which in my opinion is better, a cb can have 32″ arms but if he is 3′ away from the wr most qb will make that pass, jamison has 30″ arms but if he is only 1 feet away, it is much harder for the qb to make that throw.
    Trevis Gipson is an upgrade over any backups

      1. I’m just glad that Danny Gray and Ronnie Bell made the roster. Bell himself a tough guy and Grey showed improvement. We have great depth at the wideout position.

  4. Hello- first post here.
    To get right into it, I’m not happy they didn’t keep Jamison. Young talented guy you keep all day long. Hopefully was not based on spent money. I’d be very disappointed. Hard to get young talent, this guy was/is so good, I dislike the decision immensely.
    My first impression of Wilks is not good. He has the vibe that he’s more likely to get fired then hired as HC elsewhere. I hope I’m wrong, but that is what I see.

  5. I think I see what Mountain Dog Man means. But just remember, those were the inexperienced backups playing. Let’s see how the experienced starters do under Wilkes in the regular season.

  6. There is so much to like this year we have to nitpick about the little stuff. Let’s go Niners! My Dad, brother, and I have tickets to the Cleveland game on Oct. 15. Look for the white 1994 Steve Young jersey at around the 25 yard line, 3 rows in. That will be me.

    1. I couldn’t care less what you’re wearing or where you’re seated. Look for a girl who is throwing pieces of hot dogs 🌭 in your general direction. That will be me.

      1. That’s beautiful can I sit next to you I’ll get a12 pack of dogs what does that foo expect us to do run up and ask for an autograph like we care or going to remember oh yeah that was him gtfoh

  7. Don’t have much evidence that Oliver can tackle anybody, so saying that he’ll be played against big bodies in the slot, implying that he could tackle them (or get off their blocks) better than Lenoir, just sounds like Wilk’s protecting the guy he vouched for.

  8. Purdy getting destroyed behind this line is a MAJOR concern.Then we a left with the forever great Sam Darnold.Im so confused at what the front office is thinking.I have serious concerns about our season.

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