49ers’ Running backs (5)
RB Christian McCaffrey
RB Elijah Mitchell
RB Tyrion Davis-Price
RB Jordan Mason
FB Kyle Juszczyk
The running backs room is about as easy a group to predict as there is on this 49ers’ team. The top two backs, Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, are pretty much locked into place, although Mitchell is going to need to step up his game and stay healthy to fend off Jordan Mason, an undrafted free agent, and Ty Davis-Price, last year’s third-round draft pick.
Along with that is the presence of fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who is a key cog in making this offense go, both as a blocker in the running game and yet another weapon in the passing game.
The major question mark is whether a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent will come in and unseat one of either Davis-Price or Mason, something that seems to happen every year since head coach Kyle Shanahan came to Santa Clara.
Barring that, this group stands to be the 49ers’ running back room heading into the 2023 season.
49ers’ Wide receivers (6)
WR Deebo Samuel
WR Brandon Aiyuk
WR Jauan Jennings
WR Danny Gray
WR Ray-Ray McLoud
The wide receiver group is nearly as simple as the running backs. The first five are easy: former All-Pro Deebo Samuel, last year’s leading receiver Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, return ace Ray-Ray McLoud, and second-year man Danny Gray.
There’s always a chance that those five could be the only guys that make the active roster, but it seems more likely that they’ll look to add a sixth guy who can feature on special teams or play a similar role that Gray did last season.
The rest of the current options on the roster don’t inspire a lot of confidence: Dazz Newsome and Tay Martin seem more like practice squad options than active roster guys. So for now, I’d bet on the 49ers drafting a rookie that slowly gets folded into the team.
49ers’ Tight ends (3)
TE George Kittle
TE Charlie Woerner
The top two here are easy. Former All-Pro George Kittle is locked into his starting role and thrived with Brock Purdy under center last season, although he has yet to play any significant snaps with Trey Lance.
Beside him will be Charlie Woerner, who hasn’t shown much of anything as a receiver yet in his NFL tenure, but stands to be on the roster as a blocker.
The big question here is whether Ross Dwelley finds his spot again? The 49ers re-signed him this offseason, but his role on the team dwindled last year and he was often a healthy scratch late in the season in favor of now-departed Tyler Kroft.
It’s time for the 49ers to draft someone who can serve as a solid running mate beside Kittle and actually be a threat in the passing game. The upcoming draft is deep at the position, so it’s likely that the team will bring in a rookie who will get a chance to make an immediate impact.
In the past, the 49ers have kept four tight ends on the roster, so there’s a chance they forego a sixth wideout to keep the rookie and Dwelley around, but for now, the veteran is on the outside looking in.