The close of the San Francisco 49ers first preseason game brings with it the first snap count of the year. The NFL puts together their own official count in the gamebook. It usually has some revisions after the fact, and looking through this one, I know of at least one expected change. K’Waun Williams is listed with one special teams snap, but he was expected to be inactive for the game.
You can view the entire snap count below, but there is one important thing to note from this game. The team dealt with a host of injuries, so certain players were forced into more workhorse roles than you might normally see in the preseason. For example, offensive tackle Garry Gilliam’s head injury is likely the reason Darrell Williams played more snaps than anybody else on offense. It’s safe to say Williams would have played a lot regardless, but that’s particularly notable.
On the defensive side of the ball, Elijah Lee led the team in snaps. Fred Warner and Brock Coyle did not play, and then Malcolm Smith got hurt on the defense’s first series. Lee is going to be a workhorse this month, but it was all the more so because of the injuries.
Snap counts don’t dictate exactly how things play out, but if you’re a veteran workhorse for multiple games in the preseason, your roster chances are not idea. Draft picks are going to get more work to help them get comfortable, but if you’ve been in the league more than one year, a high snap total in the preseason might be indicative of how things are going to play out. Not always, but it’s not ideal.
Special teams snaps can be interesting to consider this time of year. For the 49ers, some double digit special teams snaps included WR Aaron Burbridge, SS Chanceller James, LB Mark Nzeocha, DB Tyvis Powell, CB Tarvarius Moore, CB Emmanuel Moseley, and LB Pita Taumoepenu. Nzeocha led the team with 19 special teams snaps, and Taumoepenu was right behind him at 17.
From that group, Moore is the only true lock to make the roster as a third round pick this year. However, none of the remaining players is a longshot. The linebacker depth chart has a host of questions, which offers Nzeocha a strong shot at making the roster. Of course, he’s listed as a SAM linebacker, which means he is competing with Taumoepenu for a roster spot.
Anything in particular jump out at you from the snap count? We’ll be diving further into this over the next few days as we try and figure out who is where on the depth chart.
49ers-Cowboys snap count, preseason Week 1