April (9): DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Ronald Blair III, Kentavius Street, DJ Jones, Jullian Taylor, Nick Bosa
Mid-preseason (10): Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Ronald Blair III, DJ Jones, Kentavius Street, Jeremiah Valoaga, Kevin Givens
A few pretty noticeable changes to this list from the April projection.
For one, the number has gone up from nine to 10, an indication of both how deep this team is across the defensive line and how much they value the ability to rotate players this season.
The major names — DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas and Nick Bosa — remain the same, as do most of the depth guys, particularly names like Ronald Blair III, D.J. Jones and Kentavius Street. Even with Bosa currently mending from a high-ankle sprain, there shouldn’t be any issue with his being on this roster.
That said, a few players have played themselves into a roster spot so far this preseason.
Defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga has been stellar so far in the two contests, racking up nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. He’d be a solid depth piece along several spots on the defensive line, and so far has played himself onto the roster.
Kevin Givens, an undrafted rookie out of Penn State, has also been solid, even if there are no counting stats to show for it (he’s managed just one tackle). But he has caught the eye of Brian Baldinger, who broke down the defensive tackle’s play after his showing in Denver.
He would be a good depth piece opposite Jones, and having him on the roster, even if he is mostly a healthy scratch for game day, would help in Givens’ development.