The San Francisco 49ers suffered a 19-12 loss to the Denver Broncos in their Week 3 preseason contest, and they now have a quick turnaround to their preseason finale. The team will host the San Diego Chargers on Thursday. Given the quick turnaround and the impending roster cuts, I wanted to get a 53-man roster projection posted sooner rather than later.
The 49ers will have to make their first roster cuts on Tuesday, at which point they need to have no more than 75 players. They will likely place DeAndre Smelter and Daniel Kilgore on the Reserve/NFI list and Reserve/PUP list, respectively. That will leave them needing to clear 12 roster spots. They could cut Desmond Bishop and pay him an injury settlement, and they also could still try and do some trading to clear space. For the most part though, my 53-man roster projection should not be impacted by this first cutdown date.
I only made one change on this later roster projection. I removed Dillon Farrell and inserted Jordan Devey. I am surprised at this development, but he is getting some significant opportunities with this team in relatively short order. He was playing at the end of the depth chart last week, but against the Broncos he got some first string right guard time after Ian Silberman struggled out of the gate. I could be overreacting, but that's kind of big.
The game also made it seem more and more likely that Kendall Hunter does not make the roster. It is not surprising he looked a little rusty in his first game back, but with the competition at running back, and really all around the roster, it might cost him a roster spot.
I want to include Marcus Rush on the roster, but until there is some kind of resolution with Ahmad Brooks, it is going to be tough for him. The team gave Corey Lemonier and Eli Harold starting reps on Saturday, in what likely was a chance for both to show what they could do as a starter opposite Aaron Lynch. The 49ers played Lynch primarily with the second team, and my guess is it was because of the need to see what the alternatives were if Brooks does not stick around. The NFL could still decide to put Brooks on the Commissioner's Exempt List amidst his legal issue, but I have no idea right now.
QB (2): Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert
RB (4): Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, Mike Davis, Jarryd Hayne
FB (1): Bruce Miller
WR (5): Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington, Quinton Patton, DeAndrew White
TE (4): Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Blake Bell, Garrett Celek
OT (3): Joe Staley, Erik Pears, Trenton Brown
OG (3): Alex Boone, Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas, Jordan Devey
C (2): Joe Looney,
DT (7): Darnell Dockett, Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine,
OLB (5): Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Corey Lemonier, Nick Bellore
ILB (4): NaVorro Bowman, Michael Wilhoite, Philip Wheeler, Nick Moody
CB (5): Tramaine Brock, Shareece Wright, Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser
FS (2): Eric Reid, Jimmie Ward
SS (3): Antoine Bethea, Jaquiski Tartt, L.J. McCray
P (1): Bradley Pinion
K (1): Phil Dawson
LS (1): Kyle Nelson
Reserve/PUP: Daniel Kilgore
Reserve/NFI: DeAndre Smelter
Reserve/Suspended: Jerome Simpson