My Roster Breakdown as of now, Locks, Strong Bubble, Bubble, & Longshot, plus Analysis (NOT a ROSTER PREDICTION)

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Strong Bubble(1): Matt Barkley
Longshot(1): Nick Mullens

Analysis: Hoyer and Beathard are the only locks to me, with Barkley being the likely third QB kept, but he will more than likely be the #2 QB, unless Beathard can unseat him, or he looks horrible, and is cut, which could mean we would sign another vet. Mullens is the longshot, but he has $18K GTD in his base salary, so he is likely destined for the practice squad.

Running Backs

Locks(3): Carlos Hyde, Joe Williams, Kyle Juszyzck
Longshot(2): Raheem Mostert, Tyler McCloskey

Analysis: Hyde and Williams will be Shanahan’s 1-2 punch, with Juscyzyk being a OW, or offensive weapon. Hightower has $150K GTD and a $100K roster bonus for making the week 1 53-man roster, Breida $25K GTD, while Bibbs has nothing guaranteed, but they did ship a 2018 4th rounder in order to get him here, even though the deal was more to trade up, John Lynch insisted on Bibbs being included. Mostert and McCloskey($5K GTD in base salary) are the longshot, with both having a shot at the practice squad. To me Breida makes the most sense as the more of a lock of the 3 strong bubble guys, I don’t see him clearing waivers, while it comes down to Hightower or Bibbs, which comes down to Kyle’s guy(Hightower) vs John’s guy(Bibbs) in camp.

Wide Receivers

Bubble(7): Bruce Ellington, Aaron Burbridge, Victor Bolden, Kendrick Bourne, B.J. Johnson III, DeAndre Smelter, DeAndre Carter

Analysis: Garcon, Goodwin, and Kerley will be the top 3 receivers, with Robinson being the #4 WR, and Taylor being the #5 WR and also Punt Returner. I have 7 players on the bubble, or basically fighting for one spot, if we keep 6. Of them, Bolden($35K GTD), and Bourne($20K) have guaranteed money in their deals. The likely front runner appears to be Johnson, as he was signed after a tryout, in which the 49ers cut UDFA KD Cannon, who got $40K GTD in his base salary. While Carter was brought in before the 49ers have either John Lynch or Kyle Shanahan hired, but after Baalke was fired, so I’m not sure what odds he has. While Ellington, Smelter, and Burbridge have the longest odds since they were brought in under former GM Trent Baalke. If none of these 7 can separate themselves from the rest, then I see them not keeping a 6th WR.

Tight Ends

Locks(2): George Kittle, Logan Paulsen
Strong Bubble(3): Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Cole Hikutini
Bubble(1): Blake Bell

Analysis: To me Kittle and Paulsen are locks, Kittle has looked like he will be the teams #1 TE, while Paulsen knows Shanahan’s offense, and was signed in the first week of free agency, and you don’t cut players that were signed so soon, unless they do something dumb off the field. McDonald has his entire base salary GTD this season, plus 2018 and 2019 have guarantees on April 1 of each year, which could make it near impossible to deal him. Celek has $1M GTD, but Shanahan has said he likes Celek, so he has a legit shot of making the final 53, Hikutini has $100K GTD, while Bell has nothing left GTD. To me, Hikutini makes the most sense, he has so much potential, plus he won’t clear waivers to get to the practice squad.


Bubble(1): Tim Barnes

Analysis: Zuttah was brought in this offseason from Baltimore by swapping 6th round picks, and Kilgore is entering the final year of his deal, and he can also play inside at Guard, so to me both make the team, unless Tim Barnes, who got only a $20K bonus, is on the bubble, but he could be brought back after week 1 when he won’t have his entire base salary guaranteed.

Offensive Guards

Locks(2): Zane Beadles, Joshua Garnett
Strong Bubble(1): Brandon Fusco
Longshot(3): Richard Levy, Erik Magnuson, John Flynn

Analysis: Beadles and Garnett are, to me, the best option at LG and RG, respectively, while Fusco is a strong bubble, but he isn’t a lock to me, he did get a $100K bonus, with $300K in LTBE incentives, but he needs to win a spot. While Levy and Flynn have no GTD money, while Magnuson has $10K GTD in his base salary, so I expect Magnuson to be on the teams practice squad.

Offensive Tackles

Locks(3): Joe Staley, Trent Brown, Garry Gilliam
Bubble(1): John Theus
Longshot(3): Darrell Williams, Norman Price, Andrew Lauderdale

Analysis: Staley, Brown, and Gilliam are locks, and may be the only Tackles kept, I’ve seen some say Gilliam won’t make it, but I don’t see that as realistic, he signed a 1yr deal worth $2.2M, with $1.25M of that fully GTD at signing, so it makes no sense to cut Gilliam, plus they offered him a multi year deal, which he turned down to take the 1-year deal to likely hit free agency in 2018. Theus is the most likely player to be kept on the 53 man if they keep a 4th Tackle. Williams has a $5K GTD in his base salary, while Price and Lauderdale have no guaranteed money.

Defensive Lineman

Locks(6): Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Elvis Dumervill, Arik Armstead
Strong Bubble(5): Ronald Blair, Chris Jones, Quinton Dial, Aaron Lynch, Tank Carradine
Bubble(1): Pita Taumoepenu
Longshot(1): Noble Nwachukwu

Analysis: Thomas, Buckner, and Armstead are all 1st-round picks, in back to back to back years, while Mitchell was John Lynch’s guy at the NT spot in the team’s new 4-3 Under defense, while Dumervil is a great get on a 2-year deal, worth $8M, with $1.5M fully GTD, and Jones is the only true NT behind Mitchell. Blair, Jones, Dial, Lynch, and Carradine are the 5 guys fighting for what appears to be 2 spots, 3 max, with Blair, and Jones battling at the DT spot, Dial is probably a better fit at the DT spot instead of the NT spot, Lynch is competing at the LEO spot, but with Dumervil, and Armstead slated at that spot, and if he doesn’t get or stay in shape, he could be on the outside looking in, while Carradine got the big End reps while Thomas was away due to an NFL rule, and he has $1M GTD, but looks like more of a longshot, as Armstead can also play that spot, as well as Buckner. Taumoepenu is a darkhorse, while Nwachukwu is likely destined for the practice squad, as he has $20K GTD in his base salary.


Locks(5): Malcolm Smith, Reuben Foster, Dekoda Watson, NaVorro Bowman, Brock Coyle
Strong Bubble(3): Ray-Ray Armstrong, Eli Harold, Ahmad Brooks
Longshot(2): Jimmie Gilbert, Donavin Newsom

Analysis: I have 5 locks, Smith starts at the WILL spot, while Bowman is the MIKE linebacker, Foster backups both Smith and Bowman if healthy, while Watson(SAM) and Coyle(MIKE) know Robert Saleh’s defense, while both will also be key special teams players. Armstrong has $850K GTD, and likely fits the WILL and MIKE spots, while Harold and Brooks fit in the SAM linebacker spot, with Brooks having the edge right now, as he got most of the first team snaps at the SAM backer. Gilbert($50K GTD) and Newsom($25K GTD) are longshots, and destined for the practice squad.


Locks(4): Rashard Robinson, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Wuan Williams, Will Redmond
Strong Bubble(2): Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser
Bubble(1): Will Davis
Longshot(2): Prince Charles Iworah, Zach Franklin

Analysis: I have 4 locks right now, with Robinson, Witherspoon and Williams as the starters, with Williams being the starting Slot CB, and the other two on the outside, with Redmond as a backup to Williams. Johnson and Reaser will battle for a backup spot behind Robinson and Witherspoon, I can see both making it, meaning they would carry 6 CBs. It seems Reaser has the upper hand, as he got first team reps opposite Robinson, while Johnson to me has the most potential, and wasn’t used under former head coaches Jim Tomsula, and Chip Kelly, after having a good rookie season. Will Davis is more than likely going gonna be cut, but could be brought back after week 1 when only 25% of his salary would be guaranteed. Franklin and Iworah are longshots, with one likely making the practice squad.


Locks(4): Jimmie Ward, Don Jones, Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt
Strong Bubble(1): Lorenzo Jerome
Bubble(1): Adrian Colbert
Longshot(2): Vinnie Sunseri, Chanceller James

Analysis: I have 4 locks, with Ward at FS, Reid at SS, Jones as a backup FS and key special teamer, and Tartt being a former 2nd round pick is a lock for now, but I can see him losing his spot if he doesn’t play well, as he didn’t get many reps this offseason. Jerome is the most likely to make the team, he has $8,500 GTD in his base salary, has been praised by GM John Lynch, who definitely knows the safety spot, being one of the best Safeties of his time, plus Jerome has the ability to play in the nickel as a slot CB. Colbert is a guy I see being cut, but he could surprise, and beat someone out, as he can also play CB in addition to Safety. While Sunseri and James are more longshots. I view one of James, Sunseri, and Colbert making the practice squad, with Colbert having the advantage, as he was the team’s 7th round pick this offseason.


Longshot(1): Nick Rose

Analysis: Pretty straight forward, no surprises here, Gould, Pinion, and Nelson are the 3 that should, and likely will make it, with Rose being just a camp leg to give the veteran Gould some rest.


Locks- 41 Players
Strong Bubble- 19 Players
Bubble- 13 Players
Longshot- 17 Players

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.