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53-man roster projection following first preseason game

The 49ers are one game into the preseason. Who is where in the race for roster spots?

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

A week ago, we made a 53-man roster projection for the San Francisco 49ers ahead of their first preseason game. Seven days later, you could say there has been a change or two on the roster. Knowing that there will be plenty of moving parts, I don’t see why we cannot make this a weekly thing.

Now that the 49ers have played a preseason game, I’m sure there are plenty of you that have done complete 180s on players. I sure have. Then there’s the obvious: injuries. Shon Coleman being out for the foreseeable future, will open up a roster spot. Trent Taylor might miss a couple of games during the regular season. That means one of the wide receivers we thought was on the outside looking in now has a chance. Could that be Jordan Matthews? Who knows.

You can go down the depth chart and play that game with just about every position. Some changes that you’ll see from last week include Damontre Moore, Ross Dwelley, and Antone Exum. Dwelley should have always been here, but numbers are confusing. I feel like the other two earned a spot with their play. You’ll also notice a change at running back. I think the recent setback from Jerick McKinnon may have sealed his fate.

It was tough in the trenches, especially considering the injuries. I added an extra defensive lineman, and on offense, I swapped out Coleman for Sam Young. I still don’t am 50/50 on Josh Garnett making the roster, but I believe he sticks. Defensively, you invested heavily, and I think to keep players fresh it makes sense to have an extra body on the roster. Especially if Bosa and Ford are on a pitch count to start the season as they play themselves into game shape.

There are a couple of changes at linebacker as well. I think adding a veteran like LaRoy Reynolds in place of Elijah Lee gives you experience as well as health. David Mayo is a good special teams player, but can he cover? It didn’t look like that was the case against Dallas. I’ll take the speedy Azeez Al-Shaair and develop him.

I think the tough part is figuring how who will step up once they’re given more opportunities, and who will fall flat on their face. Then there is the waiver-wire. Some recent additions that the 49ers have signed could be gone just like that if a better player becomes available. Throw in trades, and this will be completely different this time next week. Here is what I have, with the last four in and the last four out, March Madness-style.

UPDATE: Completely forgot Ronald Blair. He’s not going anywhere.

QB (2): Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens.

RB (4): Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, Kyle Jusczcyk.

TE (3): George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Kaden Smith.

WR (6): Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Marquise Goodwin, Jalen Hurd, Deebo Samuel, Richie James.

OL (9): Joe Staley, Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Mike Person, Mike McGlinchey, Ben Garland, Sam Young, Josh Garnett, Najee Toran.

Edge rusher (6): Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead, Kenatvius Street, Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore.

DT (4): DeForest Buckner, DJ Jones, Solomon Thomas, Sheldon Day,

LB (6): Fred Warner, Kwon Alexander, Dre Greenlaw, Malcolm Smith, Azeez Al-Shaair, LaRoy Reynolds.

CB (6): Richard Sherman, Ahkehllo Witherspoon, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, DJ Reed, Emmanuel Moseley

S (4): Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Tarvarius Moore, Antone Exum

ST (3): Robbie Gould, Mitch Wishnowsky, Colin Hoba

Last four on: Damontre Moore, Azeez Al-Shaair, Josh Garnett, Jason Verrett

Last four out: Elijah Lee, Kendrick Bourne, Marcell Harris, Adrian Colbert

IR: Coleman, McKinnon