49ers’ 53-man roster projection excludes Jimmy Garoppolo

SANTA CLARA — Time to predict the 49ers’ season-opening roster, with three months to spare.

The offseason program provided clues on which backups might stick, and that’s because half the starters didn’t practice while in rest, recovery or “reward-me” mode.

Contractual issues in the coming weeks should lead to some exits (Jimmy Garoppolo, Dee Ford) and some contract extensions (Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa).

Here is who looks in (and out) for the 53-man roster:


IN (2): Trey Lance, Nate Sudfeld

OUT: Jimmy Garoppolo, Brock Purdy

WHY: Lance looks at ease transitioning to the QB1 role, from his fluidly running the offense to admirable leadership from a 22-year-old novice. Garoppolo’s shoulder rehabilitation got him excused from minicamp, and although he’ll be welcome at camp if healthy, he’s more likely to play elsewhere rather than vie for his old job or a reduced-salary, backup role. Sudfeld won’t push Lance more so than help tutor him with new QB coach Brian Griese.


IN (6): Elijah Mitchell, Kyle Juszczyk (FB), Jeff Wilson Jr., Ty Davis-Price, Trey Sermon, Jordan Mason

OUT: JaMycal Hasty, Josh Hokit (FB)

WHY: Mitchell’s rehabilitation from minor knee surgery looks good, but the 49ers always need a deep bench here. Davis-Price didn’t practice the past two weeks so that stunts his bid for the QB2 role, but pads and live contact will determine the true depth chart in camp. Mason looks like the next undrafted rookie in line to the Shanahan system.


IN (5): Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Danny Gray, Ray-Ray McCloud

OUT: Malik Turner, KeeSean Johnson, Marcus Johnson, Austin Mack, Taysir Mack, Tay Martin

WHY: Samuel did not get traded ahead of the draft and showed for minicamp, where he didn’t practice but did light work on the side. Aiyuk and Jennings should ascend along with Lance. McCloud will work from the slot and as a returner, and Gray is a deep threat who was shut down last week with a hamstring issue. The sixth spot is up for grabs, and Turner gets the early nod here.


IN (3): George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley

OUT: Tyler Kroft, Tanner Hudson, Jordan Matthews, Troy Fumagalli

WHY: Same unit as ever. Kittle and Woerner worked on the side then watched practices. An intriguing battle is ensuing for the No. 3 (possibly No. 4) spot. Dwelley is the incumbent, but Kroft and Hudson made acrobatic catches in minicamp, and Matthews’ conversion from wide receiver is a year improved. Perhaps someone aces Kittle’s co-hosted Tight End University in Nashville June 20-22.


IN (9): Trent Williams (LT), Aaron Banks (LG), Jake Brendel (C), Daniel Brunskill (RG/C), Mike McGlinchey (RT), Colton McKivitz (T/G), Spencer Burford (G), Jaylon Moore (G) /T), Nick Zakelj (G)

OUT: Justin Skule, Keaton Sutherland, Sam Schluester, Dohnovan West, Jason Poe, Alfredo Gutierrez

WHY: Juggling the interior spots could be an ongoing matter through camp, especially if a veteran free agent arrives to push Brendel (and possibly Brunskill) for the center spot. This unit lost Laken Tomlinson and Tom Compton but enough choices remain in the homegrown garden. Those missing the cut should be practice-squad locks.


IN (11): Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Samson Ebukam, Drake Jackson, Kerry Hyder Jr., Kevin Givens, Charles Omenihu, Hassan Ridgeway, Kemoko Turay, Maurice Hurst.

OUT: Dee Ford, Kalia Davis (injury list), Jordan Willis, Alex Barrett, Kevin Atkins

WHY: Bosa might be right in saying the 49ers will need extra spots for this deep unit. Ridgeway and Turay arrived in free agency with $1 million guarantees, so will that assure them a roster spot? Ridgeway may be more than insurance for Kinlaw’s knee recovery.

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