SF 49ers: 5 smart decisions Kyle Shanahan made with 53-man roster

Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
Kyle Shanahan, 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The SF 49ers’ opening 53 man roster is complete, and Niner Noise breaks down the five best moves Kyle Shanahan made assembling the depth chart.

John Lynch might be the San Francisco 49ers general manager, but head coach Kyle Shanahan is ultimately responsible for creating the 53-man roster out of the 80-man offseason crop he had during what’s been a challenging offseason amid the global pandemic.

Fortunately, the Niners’ continuity carrying over from its Super Bowl appearance a year ago made things a bit easier. Shanahan, retaining 18 of 22 starters from last year’s offense and defense, only had a handful of open positions to fill on the roster, and the vast majority of those were on the deeper parts of the depth chart.

Still, it was going to be challenging working in some of the younger players San Francisco onboarded during the offseason. And despite Shanahan’s best efforts, there are still going to be notable question marks the team has entering Week 1.

That said, the fact there’s relatively little drama surrounding the SF 49ers’ 53-man roster ahead of their regular-season opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 13 tells you how capable the roster currently is.

And Shanahan certainly owns some positive responsibility for creating this elite group.

But to determine Shanahan’s best moves, one has to look at some of the key choices he made when deciding how the roster would come together. Now that we know who’ll initially comprise the 53-man group, let’s dive deeper and break down the five best decisions Shanahan and his staff came up with when they elected to name the group that’ll likely take the field in a week to kick off the regular season.