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!
50. Garrett Celek, TE (High: 32, Low: 77, Fooch: 42)
Celek is a solid blocking tight end, but his pass catching has never been particularly spectacular. He had a career-high 29 receptions for 350 yards last season, and was the team’s fourth leading receiver, ahead of Torrey Smith. Celek can be a useful piece of the puzzle, but he should not be the fourth-leading receiving option on a team.
49. Chris Jones, DT (High: 38, Low: 85, Fooch: 47)
The 49ers claimed Jones off waivers last November, and he proved to be a decent rotational piece on the defensive line. They re-signed him to a one-year deal in March, and he received praise from the media during the offseason workout program. The defensive line is one of the deepest positions on the roster, so while he has a decent shot at making the roster, he faces a lot of competition.
48. Garry Gilliam, OT (High: 31, Low: 84, Fooch: 31)
The 49ers signed Gilliam to a one-year offer sheet that the Seattle Seahawks chose not to match. Seahawks fans were fine with him leaving, but there is hope that he is just another offensive lineman the Seahawks coaching staff could not develop. He is competing with Trent Brown for the starting right tackle job.
47. Will Redmond, CB (High: 33, Low: 68, Fooch: 58)
The last of Trent Baalke’s ACL All Stars. He got some playing time in the preseason before the medical staff decided to shut him down. There was hope he could come off IR later in the year, but nothing came of it. He is competing with K’Waun Williams for the nickel role.
46. Brandon Fusco, OG (High: 23, Low: 75, Fooch: 23)
The last of the 49ers veteran free agent additions along the offensive line. Fusco is competing with Zane Beadles and Joshua Garnett for one of the starting guard positions. Beadles brings a lot of versatility, while Garnett was a first round pick last year. With this new coaching staff however, it all comes down to who can best handle the zone blocking scheme.
45. Tank Carradine, DE (High: 27, Low: 82, Fooch: 27)
Welcome to the next edition of, “can Tank finally figure out a role?” After moving between defensive tackle and outside linebacker, Tank is getting a chance to compete at a position he is a bit more familiar with, the strong side defensive end role. Solomon Thomas is hopefully going to be starting there sooner rather than later, but Tank will get a chance to compete for different edge roles. One good point that has been brought up, if his nickname wasn’t Tank, would we care as much about him?
44. Matt Barkley, QB (High: 25, Low: 63, Fooch: 49)
The 49ers signed Barkley shortly after signing Hoyer. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have made it clear Hoyer is the starter, but given his injury history, odds are pretty good Barkley gets at least one start this season. He’s not a guy you want starting 16 games, but he’s an adequate fill-in on occasion.
43. Logan Paulsen, TE (High: 19, Low: 76, Fooch: 48)
Paulsen was part of the first group of free agents signed once the new league year began. He only had three receptions last season, but his career high in catches came when Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Washington. He is not a guy who will catch a lot of passes (his career high is 28), but he is competing with Garrett Celek for that primarily blocking role.
42. Aldrick Robinson, WR (High: 20, Low: 75, Fooch: 39)
Shanahan and Lynch signed quite a few players that have experience in Shanahan’s offense. Robinson is one of them, and he had some success in limited opportunities last season when Julio Jones was hurt. He’s the fourth receiver at best for the time being, but knowing the offense is a big advantage.
41. Eli Harold, OLB (High: 13, Low: 56, Fooch: 50)
It’s been slow-going for Harold since the 49ers drafted him in 2015. He mentioned earlier this offseason that he is getting a chance to slim down a bit to where he was more comfortable at in college. Trent Baalke liked the 3-4 outside linebackers to be up near 270, and Harold was simply not comfortable at that weight. It feels like that coupled with Tank’s yo-yoing weight show a serious disconnect for the previous regime. Harold is competing at SAM and for an edge role, and will look to be a rotational guy.
51. Matt Breida, RB
52. Kyle Nelson, LS
53. Dekoda Watson, LB
54. C.J. Beathard, QB
55. Bruce Ellington, WR
56. Kapri Bibbs, RB
57. Pita Taumoepenu, DE
58. Brock Coyle, LB
59. D.J. Jones, DT
60. Lorenzo Jerome, S
61. Cole Hikutini, TE
62. John Theus, OT
63. Blake Bell, TE
64. Will Davis, CB
65. Vinnie Sunseri, S
66. Tim Barnes, C
67. Don Jones, S
68. Prince Charles Iworah, CB
69. DeAndre Smelter, WR
70. Aaron Burbridge, WR
71. Adrian Colbert, DB
72. Raheem Mostert, RB
73. DeAndre Carter, WR
74. Victor Bolden Jr., WR
75. Kendrick Bourne, WR
76. B.J. Johnson III, WR
77. Norman Price, OL
78. Zach Franklin, CB
79. Donavin Newsom, LB
80. Jimmie Gilbert, LB
81. Chanceller James, S
82. Noble Nwachukwu, DE
83. Erik Magnuson, OL
84. Nick Mullens, QB
85. Andrew Lauderdale, OL
86. Richard Levy, OL
87. Tyler McCloskey, FB
88. John Flynn, OL
89. Darrell Williams Jr., OL
90. Nick Rose, K