49ers' 1st (unofficial) depth chart is out, time to overreact

First depth charts ahead of the preseason pretty much mean something for fans and pundits like ourselves only.
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance (L) and Sam Darnold (R)
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance (L) and Sam Darnold (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The 49ers PR department released the team's first unofficial depth chart for 2023, and you know fans will read into it more than they should.

The San Francisco 49ers' 2023 preseason is just a few days away, and head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad is gearing up for two joint practices with the Las Vegas Raiders prior to both teams' opening exhibition bout this Sunday, Aug. 13 at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada.

Right around this time, every NFL team releases its first "unofficial" depth chart prior to the preseason kicking off.

The reason why it's unofficial? It's typically because teams' public relations departments come up with the depth chart based on whatever information or observation is made available. It's not created by the coaching staff.

That's important.

On Tuesday, the Niners' own PR department released the team's first unofficial depth chart of the 90-man preseason roster.

Let's overreact, shall we?

Overreacting to 49ers' 1st 'unofficial' preseason roster

In case you missed it, here's the roster from San Francisco's PR department:

For starters, on Tuesday, the 49ers announced they had waived running back Ronald Awatt after signing veteran running back Jeremy McNichols, so make note of that at the back end of the depth chart.

Let's get into the overreactions.

Trey Lance over Sam Darnold... sort of

You'll probably notice that quarterback Trey Lance is technically listed above fellow signal-caller Sam Darnold, but there's a big glaring "-or-" right between the two names for the second- and third-team units.

Perhaps the Niners don't want fans to think that Lance is actually winning the camp battle over Darnold. And maybe they're hoping fans will fall for the same trick with the two kickers, Zane Gonzalez and rookie Jake Moody, although no one cares as much about that as they do Lance and Darnold.

Clelin Ferrell is No. 1 EDGE with Nick Bosa out

Edge Nick Bosa remains a holdout amid his contract dispute, which has given other outside pass-rushers the chance to see more practice time.

Including Clelin Ferrell, who is now listed as the weak-side edge rusher in Bosa's absence.

Ferrell, who never caught on over four years with the Raiders after being a top-five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, could find himself thriving under the tutelage of San Francisco's defensive line coach, Kris Kocurek, who has worked wonders with cast-offs and underachievers before.

Only 3 Niners rookies made it higher than 3rd- or 4th-string units

Moody is obviously listed as a first-team kicker, but that's not too important. And the same should also be said about fullback Jack Colletto, who is technically on the second-team unit behind Kyle Juszczyk.

Unless Juszczyk gets hurt between now and Week 1, Colletto will be out of a roster spot. The 49ers won't keep two kickers.

Read more: 49ers roster bubble watch: Who's safe, who isn't after 2 weeks of training camp

That leaves the only other first-year pro to make it above the third-string group, safety Ji'Ayir Brown, who is listed as a primary backup to starters Talanoa Hufanga and Tashaun Gipson.

Good for Brown.

The Niners traditionally start their rookies way down on the depth chart, so this isn't a surprise to see others listed with the third- and fourth-string units.

For Brown, though, it appears San Francisco is willing to make an exception.

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