While the 49ers’ preseason win over the Packers was commendable, these five Niners players surely didn’t improve their dwindling shot at the 53 man roster.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the San Francisco 49ers’ 28-21 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers last Friday.
From quarterbacks Trey Lance and Brock Purdy both tossing “meaningful” touchdowns to rookie cornerback Samuel Womack recording two interceptions, there were plenty of positive takeaways and spins even if the final score doesn’t count for anything.
There are also some negative takeaways, too.
Sure, being critical is always a little more challenging after a Niners win, but it’s still the preseason. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has to start trimming the 90-man offseason roster down by five spots this upcoming Tuesday, and the full group will be whittled down to 53 players by the time Week 1 of the actual season rolls around.
In short, being critical about these five San Francisco players who didn’t exactly help their roster chances against Green Bay is what a focal point should be like this time of year.
Let’s dive in.
No. 5: Austin Mack not fighting for the ball won’t help 49ers 53 man roster chances
In the fourth quarter, Purdy’s first NFL throw against another team was nearly picked off by Packers defensive back Kabion Ento.
Blame Purdy for having a weakish arm, perhaps, but there’s just as much blame on undrafted rookie wide receiver Austin Mack for not being more aggressive and coming back for the ball to help out his quarterback.
Perhaps it’s a rookie mistake, but considering the 49ers effectively have five spots on their receiver depth chart figured out (Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud and Danny Gray), players like Mack who are on the fringe need to shine clear and above the rest to justify and earn a sixth wideout spot on the 53-man roster.
Mack has good size at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, and he can be shifty in space.
But gaffes like this one won’t do him any favors when it comes to his roster chances.