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 spots 61-70!
70. C.J. Goodwin, CB (High: 53, Low: 86, Fooch: 71)
The 49ers claimed Goodwin off waivers from the New York Giants on May 15th. Considering he stands 6’4, 220 pounds, it’s hard not to be at least a little intrigued by his potential. He took a step back last year with the Atlanta Falcons and lost his job on defense, turning into primarily a special teams player. There are a lot of cornerbacks competing for a role in the 49ers secondary. Goodwin has an uphill climb, but as they say, you can’t teach his kind of size.
69. Darrell Williams, OT (High: 45, Low: 88, Fooch: 69)
Another player with a lot of disparate opinions. The 49ers signed Williams a year ago as a UDFA, and he earned a spot on the practice squad. He spent the first eight weeks of the season on the practice squad before injuries led to his promotion. He was active seven of the final eight weeks, serving primarily on special teams, with a handful of offensive snaps. He is competing primarily with Garry Gilliam and Erik Magnuson for a swing tackle opportunity. Given Gilliam’s experience and Magnuson’s positional versatility, Williams faces a tough competition.
68. Antone Exum, S (High: 54, Low: 79, Fooch: 62)
The 49ers signed Exum on June 6th, thanks to an assortment of injuries at the safety position. He entered the league in 2014, and joined the 49ers last November. He was active three games, including one start at safety, before being deactivated the final five games. He has experience, but is likely a camp body at this point.
67. Mark Nzeocha, LB (High: 48, Low: 81, Fooch: 63)
The 49ers signed Nzeocha to a one-year deal last year on September 25th to provide some depth after Reuben Foster was injured. He played almost exclusively special teams, and the 49ers were quick to re-sign him this past January. He is competing with Korey Toomer, Elijah Lee, and Brock Coyle for special teams and depth opportunities.
66. Tyvis Powell, CB (High: 48, Low: 81, Fooch: 59)
The 49ers signed Tyvis Powell to the practice squad last November 1st, and promoted him to the 53-man roster on December 16th. He played 17 defensive snaps and 23 special teams snaps in three weeks on the active roster. During this year’s offseason workout program, he got a big opportunity. Jimmie Ward and Richard Sherman did not participate in much of OTAs, and so the 49ers had Powell getting some first team cornerback snaps opposite Ahkello Witherspoon. He likely moves down the depth chart once training camp arrives, but maybe the 49ers have found a diamond in the rough.
65. Jeremy McNichols, RB (High: 53, Low: 86, Fooch: 66)
The 49ers’ addition of McNichols last fall was a bit of a surprise moment. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a fifth round pick on him last year, and he got some face time during their appearance on Hard Knocks. The team cut him at the end of camp with the expectation that he would sign with their practice squad. Instead, he signed to the 49ers practice squad. He was promoted to the 53-man roster in late November when the team placed running back Raheem Mostert on IR, and got some special teams work in Weeks 15 and 16. He will compete with Joe Williams and Jeff Wilson for a shot at the third running back spot.
64. Don Jones, S (High: 41, Low: 77, Fooch: 67)
Jones signed a two-year deal with the 49ers a year ago March, but he suffered a torn ACL in the team’s final preseason game. He seemed a decent bet to make the team as a special teamer. An offseason later, the roster is a little deeper, and while the safety position does not have a ton of depth, there are some intriguing youngsters competing with Jones.
63. Elijah Lee, LB (High: 47, Low: 89, Fooch: 61)
The 49ers signed Lee off the Vikings practice squad after Week 1 last year. The team hosted him for one of their official pre-draft visits, so they had some kind of interest in him. He played extensively on special teams, and now has a full offseason learning the defensive playbook to compete for maybe more of a role. Foster’s two-game suspension could impact a guy like Lee as he is likely on the roster bubble. If he can continue to shine on special teams, his roster chances would only improve.
62. Chanceller James, S (High: 48, Low: 85, Fooch: 57)
James joined the 49ers as a UDFA last year, and seemed like a decent bet to make the roster before he tore his ACL in training camp. He did not participate in workout program on-field activities due to his rehab, so he has some work to do when training camp gets started. He seems suited for the strong safety role, and will be competing with Don Jones, Marcell Harris, Antone Exum, and Terrell Williams among others for a role.
61. Kentavius Street, DT (High: 35, Low: 89, Fooch: 85)
This is the one instance where not offering a lot of guidance on ranking the players impacted things in a sizable way. No player had a bigger swing in votes than Street. He will most likely spend all of this season on the Non-Football Injury List due to the ACL tear he suffered in a pre-draft workout. He holds no value for this year, but he could be an intriguing piece of the defensive line puzzle in 2019 and beyond.