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53-man roster projection heading into 49ers first training camp practice

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Training camp is getting started, so time for one last pre-camp 53-man projection.

The San Francisco 49ers kick off their first practice of training camp on Friday, which means roster predictions will have actual hard facts to add into the mix. And so, with practice getting started shortly, I thought I would get my first 53-man roster projection of training camp out there for you.

Back in June, I put together a projection following the close of training camp. Much of this one is similar, since not much of anything has changed. However, after some discussion in those comments and a chance to think on it for the past month, I’ve made a couple changes. Most notably, I removed Garrett Celek and Kendrick Bourne, and replaced them with Vance McDonald and Bruce Ellington. I am not overly sold on any of that group of four, but I’m given a slight veteran’s edge. Any of them could be released or traded and it would not surprise me in the least.

One area I’m not entirely sure about is at cornerback. Ahkello Witherspoon will obviously make the roster, but does the loser of Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson end up getting released? Both have played plenty of special teams, so that will help their case, but someone like Will Davis is an intriguing option on the back end of the roster. He’s dealt with two torn ACLs, so it is not surprising he lasted as long as he did in free agency. But he very well could surprise.

The other one I’m not sure about is Tank Carradine. He got first team work at the strong defensive end role during the offseason workout program. If Solomon Thomas is delayed getting into camp, that certainly helps Tank. But if Thomas gets in quickly, is Tank on the outs? I’m just not sure what to make of his situation.

QB (3): Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard
RB (4): Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower, Joe Williams, Matt Breida
FB (1): Kyle Juszczyk
WR (6): Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Jeremy Kerley, Aldrick Robinson, Trent Taylor, Bruce Ellington
TE (3): George Kittle, Logan Paulsen, Vance McDonald
OT (3): Joe Staley, Trent Brown, Garry Gilliam
OG (3): Joshua Garnett, Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco
C (2): Jeremy Zuttah, Daniel Kilgore

DT (5): DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Ronald Blair, Quinton Dial
DE (4): Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Elvis Dumervil, Aaron Lynch
OLB (3): Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson
MLB (4): NaVorro Bowman, Malcolm Smith, Reuben Foster, Brock Coyle
CB (5): Rashard Robinson, Keith Reaser, Ahkello Witherspoon, Dontae Johnson, K’Waun Williams
S (4): Jimmie Ward, Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, Lorenzo Jerome

K (1): Robbie Gould
P (1): Bradley Pinion
LS (1): Kyle Nelson