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53-man roster projection before 49ers roster cuts

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The 49ers played their final preseason game on Thursday, and will begin roster cuts soon. Time for our final pre-cuts 53-man roster projection.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers completed their preseason schedule on Thursday, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 23-13. Most starters did not play, and some notable reserves were also sidelined. Some big performances and mid-week transactions have me re-thinking my 53-man roster projection. It is worth noting that there is always the potential for a trade or two. And of course, the team will likely look to claim some players off waivers on Sunday, which will shake things up even further.

Here are some of the changes I’ve made on this latest one as roster cuts approach. The full projection is listed below.

In: Laken Tomlinson; Out: Tim Barnes - The 49ers acquired Tomlinson via trade, and with Beadles able to also play center, I think Barnes is on the way out.

In: Garrett Celek; Out: Vance McDonald - The 49ers dealt away McDonald, and have a decision to make for their third tight end. It comes down to Garrett Celek, Blake Bell, and Cole Hikutini. I think Hikutini is ticketed for the practice squad. Celek sat yesterday, while Bell got extensive snaps. That doesn’t guarantee Celek is the one staying, but he seemingly offers a little more as a blocker.

In: Victor Bolden; Out: Tim Hightower - Bolden will not clear waivers if the 49ers want to slip him to their practice squad. I pondered him taking Jeremy Kerley’s spot, but I’m not quite there. Meanwhile, Hightower was just sort of meh in his most extensive playing time of the preseason. I’m not seeing him sticking around at this point.

In: Asa Jackson; Out: Keith Reaser - This might be an overreaction to a huge preseason finale for Jackson, but he’s shown some things throughout the preseason while Keith Reaser has had his share of struggles. I think this is a toss-up, but maybe Jackson’s done enough.

In: Adrian Colbert; Out: Aaron Lynch - The 49ers have gotten Colbert more time at safety, and on Thursday he started at free safety and managed a forced fumble. On the other hand, Aaron Lynch was playing deep into the game. He and Quinton Dial seem to be in serious roster trouble.

QB (3): Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard
RB (4): Carlos Hyde, Joe Williams, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert
FB (1): Kyle Juszczyk
WR (6): Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Jeremy Kerley, Aldrick Robinson, Trent Taylor, Victor Bolden
TE (3): George Kittle, Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek
OT (3): Joe Staley, Trent Brown, John Theus
OG (4): Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco, Joshua Garnett, Laken Tomlinson
C (2): Daniel Kilgore, Erik Magnuson

DT (5): DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial
DE (3): Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Elvis Dumervil
OLB (2): Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson
MLB (4): NaVorro Bowman, Reuben Foster, Ray Ray Armstrong, Brock Coyle
CB (5): Rashard Robinson, Dontae Johnson, K’Waun Williams, Ahkello Witherspoon, Asa Jackson
S (5): Jimmie Ward, Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, Lorenzo Jerome, Adrian Colbert

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

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