Linebackers on the 49ers Roster
Stockpiling linebackers this offseason has its merits. In addition to the Korey Toomer and Fred Warner moves, the Niners re-signed linebacker Brock Coyle to a three-year deal. Known more for his special teams ability and keen understanding of coordinator Robert Saleh’s Seattle Seahawks-like defense, Coyle ended up starting 10 games for the 49ers last season.
It’s unlikely Coyle returns to a similar role this season, outside of Reuben Foster’s two-game suspension. But the serviceable depth should be of benefit.
San Francisco 49ers
Here’s the total cast of linebackers on San Francisco’s 90-man offseason roster:
- Fred Warner*
- Korey Toomer
- Elijah Lee
- Mark Nzeocha
- Malcolm Smith
- Dekoda Watson
- Pita Taumoepenu
- Eli Harold
- Reuben Foster
- Brock Coyle
* denotes rookie
Taumoepenu’s strict abilities in the pass rush likely negate him being anything but a situational pass-rusher, and he might be on the roster bubble anyway.
The 49ers could end up keeping five or six linebackers on their 53-man roster this season. Foster, Warner and Malcolm Smith will be there, leaving two or three other openings. And as is the case with most depth spots, the choice will mainly fall on who can contribute the most on special teams.
That’s where players like Coyle and Dekoda Watson can win out.