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 41-50!
50. D.J. Reed, DB (High: 31, Low: 74, Fooch: 55)
The 49ers spent a fifth round pick on Reed, and could be turning him into their next versatile defender. He is built to play nickel back, but he also got work at free safety during the offseason workout program. He was a great kick returner in college, so he will be competing for an opportunity there as well.
49. Pita Taumoepenu, LB (High: 38, Low: 61, Fooch: 48)
The 49ers effectively red-shirted Taumoepenu last season due in part to his having only started playing football late in high school. He will compete with Eli Harold and Dekoda Watson at the SAM position, while also getting a chance to work as an edge rusher. Cassius Marsh and Jeremiah Attaochu seem the favorites in an edge rusher rotation, but Taumoepenu strikes me as an x-factor.
48. Erik Magnuson, OL (High: 37, Low: 69, Fooch: 47)
47. Mike Person, OL (High: 35, Low: 82, Fooch: 35)
43. Garry Gilliam, OT (High: 35, Low: 69, Fooch: 46)
I decided to combine these three together since they all finished near each other. Magnuson, Person, and Gilliam are in the mix for two roster spots, and maybe a third. Person is a guard who can play center, Gilliam can play both tackle positions, and Magnuson can play all five offensive line positions. The 49ers will likely carry seven or eight offensive linemen. Darrell Williams is also in the mix as a swing tackle, and while there are other players competing, these three plus Williams would seem to be the primary competitors for reserve work.
46. Aldrick Robinson, WR (High: 33, Low: 64, Fooch: 52)
Last year, the 49ers signed Robinson to a two-year deal. He played under Kyle Shanahan in Washington and Atlanta, which gave him an edge last season. This season, he faces a step up in competition at wide receiver. Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, and Trent Taylor would all seem like roster locks. That leaves no more than two roster spots for Robinson, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James, and others. Robinson has a good chance at making the roster, but he faces more competition than a year ago.
45. Raheem Mostert, RB (High: 27, Low: 67, Fooch: 51)
The 49ers special teams took a decided downturn after Mostert went on injured reserve last season. He is listed as a running back, but considering he played 15 offensive snaps in 11 games last season, his best shot at making the roster is on special teams.
44. Kyle Nelson, LS (High: 31, Low: 78, Fooch: 53)
I never really know where the long snapper belongs. He is great at what he does, and not hearing his name mentioned during broadcasts is a plus. The most notable thing about Nelson heading into training camp is that he is a free agent after this season. Maybe we see a contract extension before the season starts?
42. Dekoda Watson, LB (High: 21, Low: 68, Fooch: 36)
Watson is another special teams dynamo. He averaged 6.5 defensive snaps per game last season, but 20.5 special teams snaps. He is a backup SAM linebacker, but Pita Taumoepenu will be looking to unseat him this season. If Taumoepenu can take a big step forward during training camp, Watson could find himself on the wrong side of the bubble.
41. Joe Williams, RB (High: 19, Low: 66, Fooch: 39)
Kyle Shanahan and Bobby Turner were all about Joe Williams in the 2017 NFL Draft. Williams ended up spending the year on injured reserve, and is now back to compete with Jeremy McNichols and Jeff Wilson for a spot behind Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida. Kyle Shanahan is satisfied with his physical state, but mastering the playbook and executing once pads go on will be key. The rankings show that opinions vary widely on the second-year running back.