San Francisco 49ers: 10 Dark-Horse Candidates to Make the 53-Man Roster in 2016
By Peter Panacy
Even with a predominantly young roster, the San Francisco 49ers have a number of shoo-in players all but guaranteed to survive roster cuts. But let’s focus on lesser-known players who may end up landing on the 53-man roster when the NFL’s regular season begins in September.
The San Francisco 49ers have more than just a handful of positions up for grabs as training camp approaches towards the end of July.
In many ways, this is a good thing. The Niners are letting a large crop of young players compete for spots on San Francisco’s depth chart in 2016. Competition brings out the best in players and, with so many slots up for grabs, the door is wide open for youthful players to seize the moment.
We can easily assume young players like rookie defensive end DeForest Buckner and rookie guard Joshua Garnett will be on the roster in Week 1.
But let’s shift our focus to some of the other players who may not have received as much hype as the two 49ers first-round draft picks this year. Who are some lesser-known, dark-horse candidates with a realistic chance to survive all the waves of cuts and make the Niners’ 53-man roster in Week 1?
San Francisco’s current offseason roster stands at 90 players. This number will be whittled down to 75 players after three preseason weeks. The final 53 will be revealed upon conclusion of the preseason.
Let’s draw our attention to 10 possibilities. Each candidate will have to have reasons beyond the proverbial “anything can happen” rationale behind a roster shot.
The context will have to be right, and each potential up-and-coming player needs to have something to offer — an aspect, or two, the 49ers simply can’t pass up.
We’ll start with a major question mark for San Francisco — the wide receiver position.
Next: No. 10: DeAndrew White