San Francisco 49ers: 5 most surprising roster cuts of 2018

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 25: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts gets sacked by Jeremiah Attaochu #92 and Cassius Marsh #54 of the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter of a preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Like nearly every NFL team on Sept. 1, the 49ers were forced to make some tough decisions regarding cuts and the 53-man roster. Here are the five biggest shocks.

It’s never an easy time of the year for players on the fringes of an NFL roster.

For the San Francisco 49ers, head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. were faced with some difficult decisions ahead of the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Sept. 1 to trim their 90-man roster down to 53 players in advance of the regular season.

In most cases, the cuts weren’t too shocking or surprising. Looking at the cuts from day one and day two, the majority of players were either long shots to make the roster or on the weaker end of the bubble anyway.

Still, there were a few shockers.

Fortunately, the Niners weren’t in a position where they had to move on from some incredible talent — cap reasons or otherwise — meaning no one was exactly a must-have player for San Francisco’s chances this season.

But there were a few on the list one might have said, “wow” a bit ahead of Week 1.

Let’s look at those guys, shall we? Here are the five biggest surprises from San Francisco’s roster-trimming efforts.

 

No. 5: EDGE Jeremiah Attaochu

Edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu was one of general manager John Lynch’s efforts to bolster the 49ers pass rush heading into 2018. Attaochu spent his previous four seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers and had some promise coming out of college. But injuries eventually led to him being buried on the depth chart.

Still, he had 10 career sacks coming into this season, which is higher than any active player on the Niners roster, currently.

“Jerry was a guy we were excited about,” Lynch told reporters, via 49ers.com’s Joe Fann. “Unfortunately, due to some injuries, we didn’t get enough opportunities to evaluate him.”

That seemed to be the case during the preseason too, as Attaochu didn’t spend considerable time with the first- and second-string units. And when he was on the field, his pass-rushing impact was minimal at best.

By making this move, the 49ers are putting their outside pass-rushing hopes in EDGE Cassius Marsh, as well as the idea of moving defensive tackle DeForest Buckner into an edge-rushing role this season.

Marsh has six sacks over his NFL career, while Buckner has nine.

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