Now we’re getting into the players on the San Francisco 49ers that are closer to “safe,” but aren’t necessarily a lock to make the roster. Here are the players ranked from 90-81, from 80-71, 70-61, and 60-51. We left off with a rookie, and we’ll start with one today.
50) TE Charlie Woerner; High: 36, Low: 54, KP: 44
Woerner signed his contract a couple of days ago, so he’ll be good to go to participate in training camp. I ranked Woerner ahead of Dwelley by one spot. To me, Woerner has a better shot at TE2 because he’s a better blocker, and what he can do as a receiver is unknown. That’s a positive as we know what Dwelley can do. Woerner can be groomed in as well with the number of weapons San Francisco has on offense.
49) WR Richie James; High: 35, Low: 62, KP: 56
James broke his wrist and was recently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. There hasn’t been a timetable released for when a player must be activated from this list, and I don’t believe there is a minimum. It’s one way for the 49ers to keep James on the roster. You can be activated once you receive two consecutive negative tests. I did not think James would make the Niners roster before his injury or positive COVID test.
48) OG Tom Compton; High: 32, Low: 61, KP: 33
I’m too high here. Compton isn’t the 33rd best player on the Niners. Anywhere in the 40s feels right. Compton has a chance to start, but after watching him against the Jets, I didn’t get the feeling that he’s a guy you want starting on a Super Bowl-caliber roster. Compton is significantly more athletic than Mike Person, but Compton had 15 blown blocks in 367 snaps compared to Person’s 16 blown blocks in over 950 snaps.
47) LT Shon Coleman; High: 37, Low: 55, KP: 39
I’ve gotten into a few Coleman versus Skule arguments recently, and I didn’t know there was as much support for Skule out there. Yes, he was a draft pick, but the 49ers aren’t heavily invested in him. The same can be said for Coleman. I believe the former Browns left tackle makes the roster because of Trent Williams’s injury history, and Coleman is the best pass protector between all of the swing tackle options.
46) CB D.J. Reed; High: 33, Low: 53, KP: 48
Reed is likely out for the season after tearing his pectoral at the beginning of the month. The good news is Reed is under contract through 2022, so we haven’t seen the last of him. The bad news is, with missing this season, the 49ers won’t have any recent film to evaluate Reed.
45) TE Ross Dwelley; High 40, Low: 49, KP: 45
Dwelley is “fine,” and that’s the best way to describe his talent in the field. There isn’t much Dwelley does that other players can’t do. I think that’s the biggest disconnect with fans and a reason why the team continues to look at options to upgrade. Dwelley’s DVOA in 2019 was -21.1%. Delanie Walker, even at age 47, was -7.1%.
44) OL Colton McKivitz; High: 34, Low: 57, KP: 40
McKivitz is the wildcard of the offensive line. The 49ers fifth-round pick can play any position other than center, which gives him a great chance to make the final 53. I’m not sure what to expect from McKivitz. I know he’s an athlete, and that matters in Kyle Shanahan’s system, but it’s always a tough adjustment for rookies dealing with high-level players every rep, instead of a few games during college.
43) P Mitch Wishnowsky; High: 34, Low: 57, KP: 46
From Football Outsiders’ Alamanac:
Wishnowsky finished in the bottom ten among qualified punters in points of field position value from punts only. He did not impress on kickoffs either, so the early returns have not been promising.
The 49ers did improve their net punt rating from 17th to seventh. Wishnowsky was a rookie, so I’m not going to be too harsh after one season. He can certainly improve, though.
42) LT Justin Skule; High: 35, Low: 50, KP: 50
I suppose it’s not too surprising that Skule is ranked high. He came in and played in a difficult spot, and the 49ers kept winning. The coaching staff likes Skule as he, not Daniel Brunskill, came in at left tackle during the Super Bowl for a brief period. Skule’s issue was when he was beaten in pass protection; the results were disastrous. In 556 snaps, Skule had 13 blown blocks in pass protection—tied for Mike McGlinchey for the team lead (McGlinchey played 240 more snaps)—but Skule gave up five sacks. Skule also tied for the team lead in penalties.
Skule’s job wasn’t easy, but he didn’t exactly instill confidence that he’s the guy for the swing job moving forward.
41) RB Jeff Wilson; High: 30, Low: 58, KP: 58
Wilson is a victim of the 49ers roster. There is a lot of talent on this team. Wilson makes most rosters. Fumbles held him back two years ago, but Wilson really showed that we could be a valuable option in the passing game last year. All of his stats are better than Tevin Coleman’s, though the sample size is limited. Wilson is a player that San Francisco should continue to groom, and hopefully, he grows into a role player.