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53-man roster projection following 49ers-Broncos preseason game

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The 49ers are halfway through their preseason schedule. Time for a new 53-man roster projection.

The San Francisco 49ers lost an ugly one to the Denver Broncos on Saturday evening in their second preseason contest of 2017. The starting offense struggled to get things going, and numerous turnovers did not help set the defense up for a success. The defense had some issues, but five turnovers on offense and special teams are not going to help anybody.

“Training camp” as we know it is officially a wrap. The team will continue practicing, but last Thursday was the last open practice of the season. The team is moving into a more familiar weekly schedule with this third preseason game. Practice will be scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with plans to travel to Minnesota on Saturday. They normally would meet on Monday and then players would have a day off on Tuesday. However, teams can’t meet seven straight days, so the players are also getting Monday off. Players with injury concerns will head in for treatment though.

We’re back with another 53-man roster projection. Here’s last week’s and the previous weeks. I made no changes this week, but have a couple potential changes I am considering. I stuck with veteran offensive lineman Tim Barnes, but UDFA offensive lineman Erik Magnuson is high on my radar. The team appears to be impressed by Magnuson. He arrived as a tackle, but has been working at guard and center in training camp. He started out with the 3s against the Chiefs, and this past weekend he moved up to the 2s. Tim Barnes is primarily a center, but has been getting work at guard.

If the 49ers go with two quarterbacks instead of three, I see them keeping Magnuson along with Barnes. But otherwise, I think it’s just Barnes. The reason for that is injury issues. In three seasons as the starting center, Daniel Kilgore has played seven, five, and 13 games. If the coaching staff is concerned he might get hurt, I think they want a veteran center available to replace him.

And that’s also why I kept Barkley on the roster for now. Brian Hoyer has struggled to stay healthy during his career. They have been mostly freak injuries (bone fractures), but they still happen. If Beathard has two quality games to close out the preseason and Barkley struggles, maybe it changes, but for now, I think they keep the veteran backup.

One other player I am intrigued by is Victor Bolden. I swapped in Kendrick Bourne for him following a big Week 1 performance coupled with the size he would add to the wide receiver depth chart. Then Bolden followed in Week 2 with his big kick return touchdown. I don’t think that’s enough to lock up a roster spot, but it puts him firmly on the radar. If he can impress on returns the final two weeks, maybe they go with him as an option over or along with Bourne.

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, Kendrick Bourne
TE (3): George Kittle, Logan Paulsen, Vance McDonald
OT (3): Joe Staley, Trent Brown, Garry Gilliam
OG (3): Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco, Joshua Garnett
C (2): Daniel Kilgore, Tim Barnes

DT (5): DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial
DE (4): Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Elvis Dumervil, Aaron Lynch
OLB (3): Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson
MLB (4): NaVorro Bowman, Reuben Foster, Ray Ray Armstrong 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

Injured reserve: LB Malcolm Smith, S Chanceller James, LB Jayson DiManche, LB Jimmie Gilbert, WR BJ Johnson III, LB Donavin Newsom