49ers post-OTA 53-man roster predictions for 2021
49ers Defensive Lineman (10)
EDGE Nick Bosa
DE Arik Armstead
DT Javon Kinlaw
DT D.J. Jones
DT Zach Kerr
DT Maurice Hurst
EDGE Samson Ebukam
EDGE Dee Ford
EDGE Arden Key
DT Kevin Givens
One thing is sure here: The defensive line will continue to be one of the best and biggest units on the 49ers’ roster.
A lot of these players are locked in as either starters or to at least make the roster. Those guys are Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, D.J. Jones, Samson Ebukam, Maurice Hurst, and likely Zach Kerr. That puts the number at seven along the line without much consideration.
That leaves three players on this projection and all come with question marks.
Dee Ford is reportedly doing well in his rehab and could be ready for training camp based on Kyle Shanahan’s comments in late May, but Ford’s status remains up in the air given the nature of his injury. At this point, anything the 49ers get from him would be a bonus, although his contract likely prohibits the team from cutting him outright given the dead-money hit and the lack of cap savings until 2022.
Former Raider Arden Key could prove to be Ford insurance, although he is not nearly the player that the latter is capable of being when healthy, and so could make the team if Ford simply cannot stay on the field. Someone like Jordan Willis also has a good shot to take that spot if Key falters.
Defensive tackle Kevin Givens seems to have the support of defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and should be given every chance to make this roster and contribute. But also don’t be surprised if the team chooses to use that roster spot to bolster the offensive line group.