No. 7: 49ers defensive tackle Kevin Givens
Rookie defensive tackles aren’t the only ones who’ll be at risk of post-preseason roster cuts because of the D-line’s depth. Veterans fall into this category, too.
There’s an awfully strong chance the Niners have to bid farewell to one of their better reserve nose tackles prior to Week 1, Kevin Givens, who admirably filled in for D.J. Jones for a sizable portion of 2020 when the latter was dealing with injuries, registering 19 tackles, five of which were for a loss, three quarterback hits, a fumble recovery and a sack over 13 games played.
Givens didn’t see much of the field at all in 2021, though, as the bulk of San Francisco’s D-line returned healthy.
Now, with other linemen in the mix such as Maurice Hurst and Hassan Ridgeway, the road for Givens to make the 53-man roster again in 2022 is much cloudier.
Perhaps out of respect to Givens, who has at least earned the right to have a better chance at making a regular-season roster, the 49ers let him test the waters on the open market instead of being relegated to the practice squad yet again as a decent interior backup.