The San Francisco 49ers return to training camp in nine days, and that means it is time for what will hopefully continue to be a regular annual feature. A year ago, we put together a consensus ranking of the 49ers 90-man roster. It included rankings from myself and ten of our writers. You can look at last year’s full rankings here.
We’re back again, this time with 13 people voting. Since this is entirely subjective, I did not provide a specific framework for voting. I could have said “the best,” or “the most important,” or a whole host of other possible ideas. The Instead, I just told people to rank the 90-man roster heading into 2017. It’s not an exact science, but none of this is!
Thanks to Greg Valerio, Billy Kerr, Oscar Aparicio, Tracy Sandler, James Brady, Jennifer Chan, Pat Holloway, Steve Busichio, Scott Geelan, Mark Saltveit, TryAndCatchVD, and Joe The Wizard.
I’ve included the high and low ranking for each player, and then also my own ranking. On to the next ten players!
80. Jimmie Gilbert, LB (High: 66, Low: 83, Fooch: 69)
The 49ers gave out a lot of guaranteed money to UDFAs, and Gilbert got the second most ($62,000, with $12,000 in a signing bonus). I ranked him a little higher than most because I see him as a strong sleeper for the 53-man roster. In these rankings, just because a player is not in the top 53 does not mean he won’t make the roster. There is a lot of competition in the 45-75 range of players.
79. Donavin Newsom, LB (High: 61, Low: 87, Fooch: 75)
He got $30,000 in guaranteed money, and brings serious speed to the roster competition. He could fit in as a sub-package guy, but his best chance to make the roster is on special teams. He’s got the speed and explosiveness for that kind of role, but he really has to stand out.
78. Zach Franklin, CB (High: 50, Low: 88, Fooch: 74)
He received no guaranteed money, although given how regularly he has been doubted, I suppose it’s fitting. The 49ers are turning over their cornerback depth chart in a big way, which means pretty much anybody competing there has a chance. He seems a bit more suited for the slot corner, but some time on the practice squad could get him better situated.
77. Norman Price, OL (High: 53, Low: 89, Fooch: 87)
The 49ers signed Price to a reserve/future contract this offseason, after he spent last season on the practice squad. The 49ers brought in veterans to compete with their current group, which suggests they are not looking to go crazy with a young overhaul on the line. Price is the first returning player on the list, having shown up at No. 90 last year.
76. B.J. Johnson III, WR (High: 51, Low: 90, Fooch: 86)
75. Kendrick Bourne, WR (High: 31, Low: 89, Fooch: 80)
74. Victor Bolden Jr., WR (High: 49, Low: 85, Fooch: 79)
73. DeAndre Carter, WR (High: 55, Low: 84, Fooch: 71)
How about four straight wide receivers, including three UDFAs and one of the 49ers first free agent signings. Victor Bolden got the most guaranteed money ($43,000) of this group, with Bourne getting $25,000, and Johnson getting none. Carter is interesting because he was a pre-free agency signing, and lasted through the round of roster cuts after the Draft. Some of this group will also get a chance to compete as returners, and that might be their best chance at claiming a roster spot.
72. Raheem Mostert, RB (High: 37, Low: 83, Fooch: 83)
The 49ers added some serious depth at running back, including signing veteran Tim Hightower and rookie Matt Breida, drafting Joe Williams, and trading for Kapri Bibbs. Mostert has hung around the NFL for two seasons, but it’s hard to see him lasting with the 49ers this fall.
71. Adrian Colbert, DB (High: 32, Low: 87, Fooch: 63)
The first appearance of a 2017 draft pick, with the 49ers spending a seventh round pick on Colbert. He played both cornerback and safety in college. He played exclusively at cornerback during the offseason workout program, but John Lynch has said they want to try and get him time at safety as well.
81. James, Chanceller
82. Nwachukwu, Noble
83. Magnuson, Erik
84. Mullens, Nick
85. Lauderdale, Andrew
86. Levy, Richard
87. McCloskey, Tyler
88. Flynn, John
89. Williams Jr., Darrell
90. Rose, Nick