49ers’ Offense: Bubble
RB JaMycal Hasty
FB Josh Hokit
WR Travis Benjamin
TE Ross Dwelley
OL Jake Brendel
OL Colton McKivitz
OL Justin Skule
Not a particularly long list, but these players are here because they are either positions where keeping multiple players is unlikely (fullback) or the slots are more likely to be filled by incoming rookies.
That is especially the case when it comes to wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who seems to have been replaced by Ray-Ray McCloud as the teams’ primary return man and hasn’t offered anything as a pass-catcher for the team during his tenure to not be pushed out by a rookie. Kyle Shanahan’s offense doesn’t make much use of multi-receiver sets beyond three, so a player like Benjamin is expendable if the draft yields a new receiver.
It may feel unfair to put JaMycal Hasty here given how much the running back has featured during his time in San Francisco and the fact that he often played over rookie Trey Sermon last year, but Hasty might be a casualty of numbers in 2022. If Sermon proves himself worthy of being the No. 2 back, the former Baylor Bear will find himself in a fight with whomever the 49ers bring in via the draft or as an undrafted free agent.
Cruel, too, on Ross Dwelley, whom the Niners just brought back as a free agent, but he hasn’t shown himself to be much more than a replacement-level player.
If the Niners find a more dynamic option in the draft, Dwelley will be the first man out.
As for the trio of offensive lineman, that too will come down to how many the team opts to keep and how often it dips into that well on draft weekend. If, for instance, San Francisco drafts a new center, then Jake Brendel would probably lose his spot. And if another guard comes in, the numbers might not work out for Colton McKivitz.
This draft will tell us a lot about what the 49ers think of their depth, especially along the offensive line.