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John Lynch discusses the state of the defensive roster

Lynch gave his thoughts on the 49ers roster. This time we focus on what he had to say about the defense

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

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch discussed the state of the roster on a conference call Saturday. We went over the offense on Monday. Here’s how Lynch broke down the defense.

Defensive Line

Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner, D.J. Jones, Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Sheldon Day, Ronald Blair, Jullian Taylor, Kentavius Street

The initial thought was that Street might miss the season, but he will now go on short-term injured reserve and should return around midseason. Taylor over Damontre Moore is something that I struggled to comprehend, especially considering Armstead and Thomas can play inside as well. Then again, Taylor’s versatility may have gotten him the nod.

Here is Lynch on Bosa:

How that (practice) goes — we’ve seen that with some other circumstances this year where a guy’s looking really good and then you’ve got to go practice and play. Particularly at Nick’s position, where you play against big bodies, and you’ve got to be able to turn and all that. That’s a big step.”

Bosa practiced on Monday and is trending in the right direction to play Sunday against Tampa Bay.


Fred Warner, Kwon Alexander, Dre Greenlaw, Azeez Al-Shaair, Mark Nzeocha

Bravo, team. Nzeocha looked the least out of his depth between the backups that played. LaRoy Reynolds made a couple of big hits, but Nzeocha generated turnovers. He also didn’t miss any time, unlike Elijah Lee. Keeping the high-upside, speedy, tackling machine Al-Shaair over a player like Mayo takes some guts. Mayo struggled mightily in the final preseason game. I’ll take Greenlaw’s variance over Malcolm Smith on the field making no impact at all.

Al-Shaair’s athleticism stood out, especially fresh off an injury, which Lynch touched on:

“Actually, we had to slow Azeez down because his return was coming so quickly that our docs and medical staff felt maybe he was pushing (it). We felt like we couldn’t keep him off the team. We’re keeping five linebackers, and Azeez earned his way onto this roster.”


Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams, Emmanuel Moseley, D.J. Reed

Both Williams and Verrett returned to practice on Monday. Verrett went through a “vigorous workout” on Saturday, so him being able to practice Monday is a good sign if the 49ers need him to be available. The status for Williams is up in the air, and we’ll find out on Wednesday’s initial injury report to see if he’s made any progress.

The only comments Lynch had on the cornerback group was there is a “strong possibility” that Verrett will be able to play. He also said Williams was “trending well” in regards to his rehab.

I’d guess we see Jimmie Ward in the slot before we see the inexperienced Reed and Moseley.


Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Tarvarius Moore, Antone Exum

Lynch said, “I don’t think that’s unreasonable to expect that we may be making a move to bolster that safety unit,” at the time. That was before Exum was added to the roster. Bolster seems a bit strong, but Lynch also said that Reed could play safety if need be.

Bruce Arians runs a vertical offense that will stretch the field. Jameis Winston is known for putting the ball in harm’s way. This would be a terrific opportunity for Moore in his first NFL action. I’m excited for him.

The same can be said for Tartt, who is probably the best matchup for Tampa Bay’s tight end O.J. Howard.

My question to you is this: Who on the defensive side of the ball that is on the roster now won’t be by seasons end?