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One possible surprise cut on offense and defense

We’re acting like the roster is set at specific positions, but these two cuts would catch most 49ers fans off guard.

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Tuesday at 1 PM PST/4 PM EST is the deadline for teams to get down to 53-man rosters ahead of the regular season. Valuable and impactful football players will be left off rosters for no other reason than “cut down day” is a numbers crunch.

Here are two possible “surprise cuts” on offense and defense for the 49ers:

Javon Kinlaw

Kinlaw showed flashes on Friday night by collapsing the pocket, allowing other pass rushers to finish the play with a sack. Unfortunately, the training camp hasn’t translated, and Kinlaw has struggled defending the run this preseason.

The 49ers most likely will keep Kinlaw to add to the defensive line rotation, but what if the 49ers value a player at another position and decide it’s time to move on from the first-round pick?

For what it’s worth, Kinlaw played 39 snaps in the preseason and finished with a 38.5 overall defensive grade, 40.7 run defense grade, and 53.4 pass rushing grade, according to PFF.

Tyrion Davis-Price

While keeping running back depth is a wise decision, TDP has struggled mightily in pass protection. PFF has Davis-Price at a 15.7 pass-blocking grade on nine pass-blocking snaps.

Jordan Mason was first on the field with the starters in place of Christian McCaffrey on Friday night. Even with Mason’s fumble at the goal line, his roster spot is safe due to his hard running and special teams contributions.

Davis-Price is a former third-round pick from LSU, but there is precedent for the 49ers to move on from a third-round running back. The hype throughout training camp hasn’t translated to the preseason for TDP. Mason is a more decisive runner, and Elijah Mitchell is still in the fold despite not playing all preseason.

The 49ers have a talented roster from top to bottom, and there will be tough decisions to get down to 53. I don’t envy anyone tasked with these decisions. Tomorrow will be very interesting for the 49ers.