© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ final 53-man roster is set, at least for the moment. That will undoubtedly change, but here’s who the 49ers have kept, and who they’ve moved on from to begin the season:
IN: Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard
OUT: Wilton Speight
- There was some question as to whether the 49ers could trade one of their two backup quarterbacks to a team needing a backup like the Indianapolis Colts or Denver Broncos, but that was not (or at least right now, is not) the case.
IN: Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert
OUT: Jeff Wilson Jr., Austin Walter, Brandon Wilds
IR: Jerick McKinnon
- Too many teams have too many capable running backs and the numbers game worked against Jeff Wilson Jr. here. The 49ers will be happy to put him on practice squad if he clears waivers.
IN: Kyle Juszczyk
IN: Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James Jr.
OUT: Jordan Matthews, Malik Henry, Chris Thompson
IR: Nick Williams
- Matthews was the first surprise, although it’s not all that much of a surprise. Kendrick Bourne is a guy who just seems to stick around despite the frequency of his errors, whether mental or practical, like dropping passes. But Bourne, who was the team’s wide receiving yards leading last season, is only 24 years of age, a big play threat and knows the offense. He tends to make up for his drops with touchdowns and is extremely tight with rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel, which, while unlikely to have been a factor in the decision to keep Bourne over Matthews, is an added bonus.
- The health of Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor pushed this receiving group from six to seven players, which might actually be a good thing for the 49ers, considering they got to keep Richie James because of it. He’s had a tremendous preseason, both in the receiving and return games.
IN: George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo
OUT: Daniel Helm, Tyree Mayfield
PUP: Garrett Celek
- This was a pretty big surprise for the team to take four tight ends, but clearly neither one of Kaden Smith nor Levine Toilolo outplayed the other enough to boot the other off the roster, and Toilolo’s size might have made him a difficult cut.
IN: Joe Staley, Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Mike Person, Mike McGlinchey, Justin Skule, Ben Garland, Daniel Brunskill
OUT: Wesley Johnson, Joshua Garnett, Sam Young, Najee Toran, Ross Reynolds, Andrew Lauderdale
IR: Shon Coleman
- This was a pretty unpredictable group after Shon Coleman went out for the season. Sam Young, a veteran and likely candidate to replace Coleman, was cut on the 30th, leaving the spot for Skule.
- As for the backup interior line spot, after Joshua Garnett was cut (as expected), it was between Najee Toran and Daniel Brunskill, both young players. Brunskill is listed as a tackle but played effectively on the interior and looked less mistake-prone than Toran, though Toran did have some impressive moments and a very good first preseason game. The 49ers chose Brunskill.
IN: Dee Ford, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Ronald Blair III, Sheldon Day, D.J. Jones, Jullian Taylor, Kentavius Street (likely IR-return designation)
OUT: Damontre Moore, Kevin Givens, Jamell Garcia-Williams, Jordan Thompson, Jay Bromley, Jeremiah Valoaga
- Damontre Moore was probably the most unexpected cut in this group, especially given his tremendous preseason (team-leading nine QB hits), the questionable status of Nick Bosa and Kentavius Street’s season-ending injury. The team’s faith in Ronald Blair and positional flexibility across the line, plus the performances and youth factor of Kevin Givens and Jullian Taylor probably made the decision easier. The final choice was between Givens and Taylor. The 49ers went with Taylor.
IN: Fred Warner, Kwon Alexander, Dre Greenlaw, Mark Nzeocha, Azeez Al-Shaair
OUT: LaRoy Reynolds, David Mayo, Elijah Lee, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
- David Mayo was a somewhat surprising cut here given how well he performed in the preseason, but as mentioned in previous roster predictions, this was an especially competitive group and Mark Nzeocha and Mayo are very similar players. Nzeocha played very well in the final preseason game and is a special teams favorite which likely gave him the nod. Azeez Al-Shaair also spoke of his ability to play MIKE linebacker, where Mayo played, and his standout preseason may have eased any nerves about losing what Mayo brought.
- Also surprising was the cut of third-year linebacker Elijah Lee, although his broken thumb was surely a consideration. LaRoy Reynolds had a very good preseason, but was also cut, leaving the team with just five linebackers.
IN: Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jason Verrett, D.J. Reed Jr., K’Waun Williams, Emmanuel Moseley
OUT: Dontae Johnson, Quinten Rollins, Jordan Holland, Chris Campbell
IR: Tim Harris Jr.
- With the questionable statuses of Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams for Week 1, the 49ers had to take six cornerbacks (and probably would have regardless). Verrett’s poor health history could put D.J. Reed and Emmanuel Moseley under the microscope.
IN: Jimmie Ward, Tarvarius Moore, Jaquiski Tartt
OUT: Marcell Harris, Adrian Colbert, Antone Exum Jr., Tyree Robinson
- Adrian Colbert looked like he was on the outs for most of the preseason and his release is not surprising. After a solid rookie campaign he regressed last season and was a tremendous liability in coverage. A nagging hamstring injury left him unable to prove he was worth keeping.
- A huge surprise, however, was the cut of Marcell Harris, who looked like Tartt’s backup. Instead, the 49ers kept just three safeties on the roster.
Robbie Gould, Mitch Wishnowsky, Colin Holba