Maiocco's 53-man 49ers roster projection before preseason finale

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Following the 49ers’ final preseason game Thursday night, they still have five days to get everything sorted out with their initial 53-man roster.

There are some decisions to make and, perhaps, a last-minute trade that could net them a future late-round draft pick in exchange for a player who holds some value.

The 49ers have a surplus of running backs and defensive linemen, and it’s possible they could make a deal with a team that has a need in either of those spots.

Then, of course, they must decide what to do at quarterback. Is this the end of the line for Jimmy Garoppolo? It seems as if that would be good for everyone at this point.

Here is how we view the 49ers’ roster after two exhibition games:

Quarterback

Making the cut (2): Trey Lance, Nate Sudfeld

In the mix: Brock Purdy

Other: Jimmy Garoppolo

Lance and Sudfeld are set on the 49ers’ 53-man roster. Purdy has been very consistent, but it seems to be a safe bet that he would clear waivers and the 49ers could get him back on the practice squad to continue to develop into a potential backup role in the future.

Then, there’s Garoppolo. The 49ers certainly want to make us all believe the might keep him on their initial 53-man roster. But that would mean exposing a player to waivers that they would like to keep around.

Running back

Making the cut (5): Elijah Mitchell, Kyle Juszczyk (FB), Ty Davis-Price, Jeff Wilson Jr., JaMycal Hasty

In the mix:  Trey Sermon, Jordan Mason

If Sermon were not a third-round pick a year ago, there probably would not be much of a conversation about his status. Mitchell, Wilson and Davis-Price should be assured spots on the team.

Then, it comes down to Sermon, Hasty and Mason for one spot. Hasty gives the 49ers something a little different with his ability to run routes and catch passes out of the backfield. Still, the 49ers could have their pick of Sermon or Mason (or both) for a spot on the practice squad.

Wide receiver

Making the cut (5): Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, Danny Gray

In the mix: Malik Turner, Willie Snead, Marcus Johnson, Tay Martin

The top five spots appear set. The only question is how the 49ers decide to divvy up the playing time after Samuel and Aiyuk. Gray and McCloud could push Jennings for snaps as the No. 3 receiver.

If the 49ers keep a sixth receiver on the team, Turner would have a big edge because of his ability and willingness on special teams. Because of depth at other spots, it would seem logical that the 49ers go light at this spot, knowing they can bring back a couple wideouts on the practice squad.

Tight end

Making the cut (4): George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley, Tyler Kroft

In the mix: Troy Fumagalli

Injured reserve: Jordan Matthews (knee)

The 49ers could keep three tight ends, but they have gone with four in the past. The four that they would retain seems straight-forward after the club released Tanner Hudson this week.

Woerner was the team’s No. 2 tight end last season. Each of the players behind Kittle seems interchangeable and with no clear pecking order.

Offensive line

Making the cut (9): Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Daniel Brunskill, Spencer Burford, Mike McGlinchey, Jake Brendel, Colton McKivitz, Jaylon Moore, Jason Poe

In the mix: Nick Zakelj, Justin Skule, Keaton Sutherland, Dohnovan West, Alfredo Gutierrez

McKivitz has nailed down a spot as the 49ers’ backup swing tackle. He was cut a year ago, and that fueled him to turn things around. Depending on McGlinchey’s health, McKivitz could end up in a key role this season.

One of the other surprises of training camp has been Poe, an undrafted rookie from Mercer. He is an intriguing prospect who does not have stereotypical size or arm length for an NFL offensive lineman. But he seems to have a lot of attributes that cannot be measured.

Defensive line

Making the cut (10): Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Samson Ebukam, Drake Jackson, Kevin Givens, Charles Omenihu, Kemoko Turay, Jordan Willis, Hassan Ridgeway

In the mix: Kerry Hyder Jr., Kevin Atkins, Alex Barrett, Akeem Spence

Reserve/NFI: Kalia Davis (knee)

Injured reserve: Maurice Hurst (biceps)

The 49ers could keep as many as 11 defensive linemen on their opening roster. If they keep 10, it would likely come down to Ridgeway or Hyder.

Ridgeway is a large presence as a run-stuffer on early downs. Hyder, it seems, ranks as the sixth edge rusher on the team behind Bosa, Ebukam, Jackson, Omenihu, Turay and Willis.

RELATED: 49ers optimistic key players will be ready for Week 1

 

Linebacker

Making the cut (5): Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Azeez Al-Shaair, Oren Burks, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles

In the mix: Marcelino McCrary-Ball, Segun Olubi, Curtis Robinson

Warner, Greenlaw and Al-Shaair combine to give the 49ers one of the best group of linebackers in the NFL.

Burks and Flannigan-Fowles can step in as backups, but their main contributions will come on special teams. The other three players currently on the roster are fighting for spots on the practice squad.

Defensive back

Making the cut (10): Charvarius Ward, Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmie Ward, Talanoa Hufanga, Tarvarius Moore, Deommodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas, Sam Womack, George Odum, Dontae Johnson

In the mix: Tariq Castro-Fields, Qwuantrezz Knight, Tashaun Gipson, Ka’dar Hollman, Taylor Hawkins, Ken Crowley

Reserve/PUP: Jason Verrett

The 49ers are playing it safe with Verrett, who is ineligible for at least the first four games of the regular season while being on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list. The goal is to have Verrett healthy and ready to step in if the 49ers sustain an injury at some point down the line.

The final spot could come down to Johnson or Castro-Fields. The 49ers have released Johnson many times in the past, and he has always been available for them to bring him back when he is needed. He is a valuable player due to his versatility. He can fill in at cornerback, nickel back, safety and also contribute on special teams.

Special teams

Making the cut (3): Robbie Gould, Mitch Wishnowsky, Taybor Pepper

In the mix: None

There is not a whole lot of drama here.

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