49ers depth chart: 5 dark-horse players who can steal a roster spot

Kelvin Taylor #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Kelvin Taylor #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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49ers, free agency, mock draft, 2020 offseason, Buckner trade
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and general manager John Lynch (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Whittling down the 49ers depth chart to 53 players by Week 1 might not be too difficult this year, but these dark-horse players could steal a spot.

In 2017 and 2018, the San Francisco 49ers depth chart for the regular season seemed to be pretty wide open aside from a handful of positions here and there. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were amid an entire roster overhaul, meaning training camp competitions and those excelling during the preseason stood a better shot over other players, both incumbents and other offseason adds.

Fresh off an appearance in Super Bowl LIV and retaining 18 of 22 offensive and defensive starters from last season, the 2020 Niners aren’t exactly in the same context.

As a result, predicting the 49ers depth chart and 53-man roster, at least for Week 1, isn’t quite as challenging as it might have been not too long ago.

In truth, there are only a handful of roster spots up for grabs, True, the increase of practice squads from 12 to 16 players during the offseason, along with rules allowing previously non-eligible players to land here, adds an extra wrinkle to how Shanahan will formulate his team. But as far as the 53-man roster goes, one could make the argument perhaps only seven to 10 spots are truly open for the taking.

Every year, however, there are a few dark-horse adds and players who seemingly came out of nowhere to steal a spot. In 2017, undrafted free-agent rookie wide receiver Victor Bolden made the cut after impressing in the Niners’ fourth and final preseason game. That was a bit of a surprise add, warranted after his late rise.

Heading towards the 2020 regular season, who might be some other dark-horse adds on San Francisco’s offseason roster?

Here are five with a great chance.