The San Francisco 49ers report for training camp on July 25, and with time ticking down, we’re back for our annual roster ranking feature. The past two years, we’ve put together a consensus ranking of the 49ers 90-man roster. It includes ranking from myself and other Niners Nation staff.
The San Francisco 49ers return to training camp in nine days, and that means it is time for what will hopefully continue to be a regular annual feature. A year ago, we put together a consensus ranking of the 49ers 90-man roster. It included rankings from myself and 12 of our writers. You can look at last year’s full rankings here.
This year, we’ve got 18 people voting. Since this is entirely subjective, I did not provide a specific framework for voting. I could have said “the best,” or “the most important,” or a whole host of other possible ideas. The Instead, I just told people to rank the 90-man roster heading into 2018. It’s not an exact science, but none of this is!
Thanks to Greg Valerio, Oscar Aparicio, Tracy Sandler, James Brady, Jennifer Chan, Pat Holloway, Steve Busichio, Scott Geelan, Mark Saltveit, TryAndCatchVD, Joe The Wizard, Scott Geelan, Josh Eccles, Josh Cootner, ak4niner, El Shorts, Alex Eisen, and Akash, Anavarathan.
I’ve included the high and low ranking for each player, and then also my own ranking. On to the first ten players!
90. Jack Heneghan, QB (High: 71, Low: 90, Fooch: 90)
The 49ers signed Heneghan as a UDFA this past April, adding a camp body to compete with Nick Mullens. Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard are locked into the starter and backup job, and it seems highly unlikely the 49ers will carry three quarterbacks. Heneghan is competing for a practice squad spot.
89. Alan Knott, C (High: 53, Low: 89, Fooch: 86)
Weston Richburg signed to be the 49ers starting center. Alan Knott and Coleman Shelton (ranked below) both signed as UDFAs looking to impress as a reserve interior lineman. Mike Person and Erik Magnuson make that a little more difficult. Knott has not played guard since high school, so he has some work in front of him.
88. Jeff Wilson, RB (High: 63, Low: 89, Fooch: 80)
I would not be too surprised if this ends up a guy some of us underrate. The North Texas product had some big-time college production, and now is competing with Jeremy McNichols and Joe Williams for some kind of opportunity. Jerick McKinnon is the starter, and Matt Breida appears fairly settled as the backup for the time being. At the very least, Wilson strikes me as a KSWOF favorite.
87. Jamar McGloster, OT (High: 60, Low: 89, Fooch: 73)
Every year, there are a handful of offensive lineman that are tough to figure out. They seem like camp fodder, but then one of them surprises. I don’t know who it will be this year, but my own rankings show some uncertainty among these youngsters. McGloster played exclusively at right tackle, which would not seem to help him earn a swing tackle job. Looking now, I might have over-ranked him.
86. Blaine Woodson, DT (High: 48, Low: 90, Fooch: 87)
The 49ers have invested heavily in the defensive interior, which makes life difficult for guys like Woodson and Niles Scott (see below). I kind of see Woodson and Scott in a similar boat as offensive linemen McGloster and Toran and centers Knott and Shelton. They are youngsters on the bottom of the roster at positions where there are too many talented young veterans ahead of them. This is the practice squad roster competition.
85. Najee Toran, OL (High: 61, Low: 88, Fooch: 84)
Laken Tomlinson is locked in at left guard, while Joshua Garnett, Jonathan Cooper, and potentially Mike Person and Erik Magnuson are competing at right guard. The loser of Garnett and Cooper could end up getting cut, while Person and Magnuson are likely competing for a utility role. Toran started 23 of his last 24 games at guard, and saw action at guard and on the defensive line as a sophomore. He’s a busy guy.
84. Ross Dwelley, TE (High: 62, Low: 90, Fooch: 64)
The 49ers worked out Dwelley before the 2018 NFL Draft, and then signed him as an undrafted free agent. The top two spots on the tight end position seem fairly secure between George Kittle and Garrett Celek. Cole Hikutini likely has the edge for the third spot, but the team did not invest heavily in their tight end depth, which opens the door for Dwelley to surprise us in August.
83. Corey Griffin, S (High: 66, Low: 90, Fooch: 77)
The 49ers gave Griffin a $5,000 signing bonus when they signed him as a UDFA earlier this offseason. He played primarily strong safety in college, but got a look at free safety in training camp. The 49ers have limited safety depth at the moment. D.J. Reed is likely the favorite to get some reserve time, but Griffin could have a decent shot at a practice squad spot.
82. Niles Scott, DT (High: 58, Low: 90, Fooch: 75)
The 49ers signed the Division III prospect in April with a $1,000 signing bonus. He is built to impress, but coming out of D-3 puts him behind the curve. I suspect we see him playing a lot of the fourth quarter in the preseason, but I think he’s the kind of “potential” guy that makes sense on the practice squad.
81. Coleman Shelton, C (High: 60, Low: 87, Fooch: 76)
He and Alan Knott are in much of the same boat for the time being. I think Erik Magnuson ends up a major utility player, but even if not, Mike Person has the kind of extensive interior line experience the team would want behind an established starter like Richburg. Shelton and Knott are competing for maybe one spot on the practice squad.