The San Francisco 49ers released their first unofficial depth chart of the season ahead of their Week 1 matchup against the Cardinals. ESPN’s Nick Wagoner had a salient point about the depth chart: The coaching staff does not put it together, and it’s not very useful. We’re still going to discuss it, though. Let’s get right into it, starting with the offense. The starters are listed first, followed by who is backing them up.
WR: Deebo Samuel, Trent Taylor, Brandon Aiyuk
LT Trent Williams, Justin Skule
LG Laken Tomlinson, Colton McKivitz
C Ben Garland
RG Daniel Brunskill OR Tom Compton
RT Mike McGlinchey
TE George Kittle, Jordan Reed, Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner
RB Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson Jr.
FB Kyle Juszczyk
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard.
The “OR” for right guard is the team playing cat and mouse, to me. Brunskill is your starter. Mostert had received the bulk of first-team carries during practice, while Bourne’s experience gave him the nod over Brandon Aiyuk. Remember, just because a player takes the field first doesn’t mean he won’t play as much as the starters. The depth chart is fluid, and two weeks from now, Aiyuk could very well be starting.
Reed made quite the impression, so him being listed as TE2 shouldn’t be a surprise. I can’t wait to see how much he’ll be used in this offense.
McKinnon will be your third-down back, but don’t rule out Coleman as he remains the best pass protector in the backfield.
LDE: Arik Armstead, Dee Ford
LDT: Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw
RDT: D.J. Jones, Kentavius Street, Kevin Givens
RDE: Nick Bosa, Kerry Hyder Jr.
SAM: Dre Greenlaw, Mark Nzeocha
MIKE: Fred Warner, Azez Al-Shaair
WILL: Kwon Alexander, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
LCB Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett
RCB: Emmanuel Moseley OR Ahkello Witherspoon
NB: K’Waun Williams
FS: Jimmie Ward, Tarvarius Moore
SS: Jaquiski Tartt, Marcell Harris
Moseley is starting. I’d put a paycheck on him not coming off the field Week 1.
I don’t know how much we should read into Thomas being listed as the “starter,” but we’ll find out in a couple of days. The likelihood of Solly playing more snaps in sub-packages than Kinlaw is high, so perhaps that’s why he’s listed as the starter.
The depth is much improved from a year ago. Even guys like Flannigan-Fowles were flying around at practice and making plays.
In 2019, the Cardinals ran 10 personnel—four wide receivers on the field—33%(!) of the time. I’m curious to see what the 49ers’ answer will be. Do we see Ward drop down into the slot with Williams as Tartt drops back? Or do we see Moore, who was excellent, playing in the slot during training camp? The 49ers will likely give the Cardinals plenty of different looks.