Throughout the offseason, we have kept you up to date with the comings and goings of the San Francisco 49ers. Now that the draft is over, that is no different. Up next we have the roster projections for the five-time Super Bowl champions. In this article, we take a look at who we believe will be on the roster come week one of the highly anticipated 2021 NFL season.
After a season plagued by injuries, the San Francisco 49ers will be looking forward to getting players back from injury more than ever. After reaching the pinnacle of the sport in 2019, before ultimately losing out, the 49ers suffered a losing season in 2020. This roster projection will hopefully be one that can get them back to the playoffs and maybe even another trip to the Super Bowl.
San Franciso 49ers Roster Projections: Offense
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, and Nick Mullens
The San Francisco 49ers are in one of the best positions possible to be in when it comes to the quarterback department. In 2019, Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers all the way to the Super Bowl and prior to that, he played for years under the greatest to ever do it, Tom Brady. Now, heading into the 2021 season they still have Garoppolo but they also have Trey Lance. After much speculation, the 49ers used the third pick in the draft for the North Dakota State quarterback.
In 2019, Lance threw for 28 touchdowns and no interceptions at all. A stat that is sure to have endeared him to Kyle Shanahan. Garoppolo will no doubt be the starter in Week One but that is not likely to last long. Lance is desperate to get started and if Garoppolo doesn’t improve from 2020 he won’t last long in 2021.
RB: Raheem Mostert, Jeffrey Wilson, Wayne Gallman, Trey Sermon, and Elijah Mitchell.
A run-heavy offense will be in need of a few running backs. That’s why you will find five running nacks on the roster come Week One of the season. Mostert will be the starter but there will be quite a few people chasing his spot. Sermon and Mitchell are fresh on the roster and will be desperate to secure a spot and then hold onto it. A very competitive running back group could have the 49er’s offense firing on all cylinders.
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
Not much needs to be said here. The Juice is back. A new contract sees Kyle Juszczyk staying in Santa Clara for the rest of his career. A big powerful fullback is just what a run-heavy team needs and the 49ers have one of the best.
WR: Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Richie James, Mohamed Sanu, Jalen Hurd, and River Cracraft.
In 2020 the San Francisco 49ers had to call on the depth chart in order to field-wide receivers. Both Samuel and Aiyuk were lost to injury at some point during the season and the 49ers turned to James and Cracraft. In addition to Samuel and Aiyuk returning from injury the San Francisco 49ers added the veteran Mohamed Sanu. The presence of a veteran receiver in the room can’t be overstated and should help the young guys get up to scratch quickly.
TE: George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, and Ross Dwelley.
George Kittle returned from injury at the end of the 2020 season and was sorely missed. The All-Pro tight end is a huge cog in the 49ers machine and his presence completely transforms the run and pass game. The self-dubbed “Peoples Tight End” had to watch as Travis Kelce broke his receiving yards record in 2020. Kittle will be back with a vengeance as he looks to get his record back.
OL: Trent Williams, Laken Tomlinson, Alex Mack, Justin Skule, Mike McGlinchey, Colton McKivitz, Daniel Brunskill, Weston Richburg, Tom Compton, and Shon Coleman.
One of the best left tackles in the league, one of the best right tackles in the game, and one of the best centers to ever do it. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Both Trent Williams and Alex Mack are nearing the end of their career and are in win-now mode. Good for the San Francisco 49ers in 2021 but if the injury bug strikes again then they could be in trouble.
San Francisco 49ers Roster Projections: Defense
DL: Arik Armstead, Zach Kerr, Javon Kinlaw, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Maurice Hurst, and DJ Jones.
The 49er’s defense needs to play without their defensive coordinator Robert Saleh at the helm. Luckily for them, they have one of the best defenses in the league. Nick Bosa is one of the best at getting to the quarterback and he gets plenty of help from Javon Kinlaw, Arik Armstead, and Dee Ford. If the 49ers can stay healthy all year then there is no reason why they can’t challenge for the NFC West crown once again.
Linebackers: Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Mark Nzeocha, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Samson Ebukam.
Quite possibly the best group in the 49ers defense. In 2020, despite losing so many players to injury, the group continued to play at a high level. Fred Warner is by far the first name on the team sheet and is due to earn big money next year. If the 49ers can’t sort out the problems in the secondary then there will be even more pressure on the linebacker unit.
Cornerback: Dontae Johnson, Ambry Thomas, K’Waun Williams, Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, and Deommodore Lenoir.
The cornerback situation is a little difficult to predict in California. With Richard Sherman still a free agent and the cornerback position one of the main areas of needs for the 49ers who knows what might happen between now and the start of the season. Emmanuel Moseley signed a two year extension which prevented him from being a free agent in 2021. A smart move given the situation they find themselves in now.
There are still holes to fill between now and the start of the season and if the 49ers can bring back Richard Sherman it will go a long way to get their secondary ready for another push at the NFC Championship.
Safety: Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Marcell Harris, Tavon Wilson, and Talanoa Hufanga.
The band is back together at the secondary position. Marcell Harris, Tavon Wilson, and Jaquiski Tartt all signed new deals to stay with the team and come back in 2021. One of the keys to success is keeping players together who can perform well. Tartt and Ward perform well together and the fact that they are staying together is a big bonus for the team in red and gold.
San Francisco 49ers Roster Projections: Special Teams
Kicker: Robbie Gould
With a field goal percentage of over 86% Robbie Gould’s name should be one of the first on the roster projection for 2021.
Punter: Mitch Wishnowsky
Mitch Wishnowsky is still in his rookie contract and will continue into 2021. The fourth-round pick from 2019 hasn’t set a foot wrong and will likely be the starting punter for years to come.
Long Snapper: Taybor Pepper
After signing a new extension on February 24th, 2021 there is no reason to suggest that Pepper won’t be the long snapper come September 2021.
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