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49ers roster bubble watch following the draft

The 49ers are close to filling out their 90-man roster, so it’s as good a time as any to see who is on the bubble.

The San Francisco 49ers have announced 13 undrafted free agent signings, and they now have 89 players on the roster. The team will hold rookie minicamp to potentially find some diamonds in the rough, but for the most part, we know who will be competing for opportunities come training camp.

Two positions of particular note are the offensive guards. The team has six potential guards on the roster, but none of them are a sure thing. You could make arguments for several of them to be in the starting lineup, but none of them jump out as players who will definitely not get cut. And so, I’ve listed the five veterans as strong bubble. Not all will make the team, but some group of that will.

The other position of note might be defensive line. DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, and Cassius Marsh are locks, as is rookie Kentavius Street who will spend the year on the NFI list. Other than that, I really don’t know what to expect. Armstead could very well end up getting traded, but I am not considering the potential for trades in the bubble watch. This is strictly if I think they could get cut. I pondered Marsh as strong bubble, but given the extension and the decision to not draft any edge rushers, I think he’s a lock to make the roster.

Running back and tight end are two positions where heading into the offseason I was not quite sure what to do with some of them. But the draft decisions helped shape this bubble watch. The fact that they did not draft a running back or tight end makes me think Matt Breida and Garrett Celek are locks to make the roster.

After that though, there are spots available but a lot of questions with regard to backups. The team will almost certainly carry three tight ends, but none of Cole Hikutini, Cole Wick, or Ross Dwelley jump out as players I’m prepared to say have a strong roster chance. Hikutini seems a good candidate, but I’m not at a point where I’d say he’s strong bubble.

The same holds true at running back. The team carried Joe Williams on IR last year but his standing seems a bit precarious. I think he probably makes the team, but would anybody be all that surprised if Jeremy McNichols or UDFA addition Jeffery Wilson beat him out for the job? Ideally Williams will step up to the challenge, but there’s a big opportunity for one of these three.

The 49ers will cut down to 53 players at the end of the preseason. Heading into rookie minicamp, I’ve listed 32 players as locks and another 25 as strong bubble. Among the rookies, Mike McGlinchey, Dante Pettis, Fred Warner, Tarvarius Moore, and Kentavius Street are all listed as locks. Meanwhile, D.J. Reed and Marcell Harris are listed as strong bubble, while seventh round picks Richie James and Jullian Taylor are listed as weak bubble.

Where do you disagree on this list?

Lock (32)

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard
RB: Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
WR: Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis
TE: George Kittle, Garrett Celek
OT: Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey
C: Weston Richburg

DL: DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, Cassius Marsh, Kentavius Street (IR),
LB: Reuben Foster, Malcolm Smith, Eli Harold, Fred Warner
CB: Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jimmie Ward, Tarvarius Moore
S: Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert

K: Robbie Gould
P: Bradley Pinion
LS: Kyle Nelson

Strong bubble (25)

RB: Raheem Mostert
WR: Kendrick Bourne, Aldrick Robinson
OT: Garry Gilliam, Darrell Williams
OG: Joshua Garnett, Laken Tomlinson, Zane Beadles, Erik Magnuson, Jonathan Cooper

DL: Earl Mitchell, D.J. Jones, Sheldon Day, Ronald Blair, Jerry Attaochu
LB: Dekoda Watson, Korey Toomer, Brock Coyle, Pita Taumoepenu
CB: K’Waun Williams, Greg Mabin, D.J. Reed
S: Don Jones, Marcell Harris, Chanceller James

Weak bubble (17)

QB: Nick Mullens
RB: Joe Williams, Jeremy McNichols, Jeffery Wilson
WR: Richie James, Victor Bolden Jr.
TE: Cole Hikutini, Cole Wick, Ross Dwelley
OT: Andrew Lauderdale, Pace Murphy

DL: Jullian Taylor
LB: Elijah Lee, Mark Nzeocha
CB: Trovon Reed, Tarvarus McFadden
S: Tyvis Powell

Longshot (15)

QB: Jack Heneghan
FB: Malcolm Johnson
WR: Maxwell McCaffrey, Aaron Burbridge, DeAndre Carter, Steven Dunbar
OT: Jamar McGloster
OG: Najee Toran
C: Alan Knott, Coleman Shelton

DL: Niles Scott
CB: Emmanuel Moseley
S: Terrell Williams, Corey Griffin

P: Jeff Locke