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The youth movement is on for San Francisco 49ers

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The 49ers can expect big contributions from their rookies.

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers made their roster cuts to get down to the 53-man roster, and while there will be changes, it is very clear that youth is being served. The team has nine of their ten draft picks on the 53-man roster, and Joe Williams on injured reserve. They kept five undrafted free agents. Only eight players are over the age of 30, and 29 of their 53 players are 25 or younger.

One of the reasons Trent Baalke was fired was his inability to find consistent production from his draft picks. He rolled the dice on a variety of injured players, and dating back to 2012, couldn’t draft offensive skill position players to save his life. The 49ers are turning over much of that roster, and in fact, with Jeremy Kerley’s release, none of the team’s 16 free agents from this past year are on the roster.

The 49ers have 14 rookies on their roster, and could be looking at significant contributions from quite a few of them. Here is some of what we can expect from them.

QB C.J. Beathard: Brian Hoyer’s only backup.

WR Victor Bolden: Competing for a return role, likely will get some opportunities on a few offensive plays a game.

WR Kendrick Bourne: One of the team’s bigger receivers, but could be competing with Bolden for a spot on the 46-man active roster.

RB Matt Breida: The primary backup to Carlos Hyde, although Raheem Mostert will compete for snaps.

DB Adrian Colbert: Best chance for playing time is on special teams, but the corner/safety could be inactive depending on Jimmie Ward’s health.

LB Reuben Foster: Starting weak side linebacker, and has a good chance at DROY.

S Lorenzo Jerome: Jimmie Ward’s status for Week 1 is unknown. Jerome and Jaquiski Tartt are the two candidates to start in his place.

DT D.J. Jones: The 49ers likely will add another defensive tackle, but for now he is Earl Mitchell’s backup. My guess is he is inactive initially.

TE George Kittle: The No. 1 tight end, and a chance to be among the team’s big pass catchers.

OL Erik Magnuson: The team’s backup center, with Zane Beadles serving as an emergency center.

OLB Pita Taumoepenu: He could be part of the pass rush rotation, but with the team also keeping Aaron Lynch, I’m not entirely sure what the plan is for the time being.

WR Trent Taylor: He is the reason Jeremy Kerley was released. He will likely be the team’s punt returner, and could see significant work as the slot receiver.

DL Solomon Thomas: He is currently backing up Tank Carradine at strong side defensive end, and serving as a reserve interior option in sub packages. He’ll get opportunities as part of a rotation, but I am not quite sure how much of him we’ll see early on.

CB Ahkello Witherspoon: He and Keith Reaser are the two guys without a specific role yet. One of them will be the first cornerback off the bench for some of the team’s dime packages.