No. 1: 49ers running back Trey Sermon
There are a handful of true wild cards when it comes to thinking about who is safe and who’s not on the roster bubble.
The Niners have plenty of intriguing options at running back, including second-year pro Trey Sermon, who disappointed his rookie year after they drafted him in Round 3 and produced just 167 rush yards.
And despite Kyle Shanahan mentioning after the Packers game that he felt Sermon was taking massive strides, the following from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco casts a serious shadow over Sermon’s roster chances:
"Sermon is a talented back, for sure. There’s a reason the 49ers had him rated as a third-round talent. But the fact the 49ers felt the need to select another running back [Tyrion Davis-Price] in the third round says everything you need to know. Although he has made improvements, there is still just enough hesitation in Sermon’s style that prevents him from getting upfield quickly and maximizing his yards in the team’s runner-friendly outside zone scheme."
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Maiocco also argued that Sermon’s lack of production in the preseason, which hasn’t been great, has forced other depth tailbacks like Jordan Mason and JaMycal Hasty to be stronger candidates to back up Davis-Price and the presumed starter, Elijah Mitchell.
If Sermon doesn’t wind up having an absolutely strong preseason finale against Houston, perhaps Maiocco’s hinting turns into truth.