Biggest takeaways (and surprises) from 49ers' 53-man roster

The San Francisco 49ers have their roster set up for the upcoming season, and as usual there's a lot to go through. We look at every positional group, and run through it and what to expect.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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With the 49ers' initial 53-man roster now set for the upcoming season, Niner Noise takes a look through every positional group and gives a rundown on who made the cut.

Preseason is over, and the San Francisco 49ers are now gunning to get back to the playoffs and go one better than the NFC Championship appearance last year.

Let's not waste any time, here's the team and the rundown:

Read More: 49ers 2023 roster cuts: Tracking which players are being let go

49ers Offense

Quarterback (3):

Brock Purdy
Sam Darnold
Brandon Allen


The question here was whether or not Trey Lance would be part of the quarterback room. The fit was never there though once Sam Darnold beat him out for the backup job, so the 49ers elected to cut their losses and trade him to the Dallas Cowboys.

Make no mistake however, this is Brock Purdy's team now.

With that in mind this ended up being exactly as predicted. The 49ers like to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, so Darnold will hold the clipboard and Brandon Allen will look pretty for the TV cameras unless the injury apocalypse once again hits the team.

Running Back (5):

Christian McCaffrey
Kyle Juszczyk
Elijah Mitchell
Ty Davis-Price
Jordan Mason


Again, not a massive shock to see how this plays out. Christian McCaffrey and Kyle Juszczyk of course were going to start, but it was a question of whether or not the depth of 2022 could retain their spots. As it turned out, the answer was yes.

Ty Davis-Price and Jordan Mason shone in the preseason and deserved a second chance to move up the order, just in case McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell have any injuries flair up as has happened in their careers. As usual, the depth is excellent here.

Wide Receivers (6):

Brandon Aiyuk
Deebo Samuel
Jauan Jennings
Ray-Ray McCloud
Danny Gray
Ronnie Bell


Six wide receivers make the cut here, and the bulk of those won't surprise. Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuek, Jauan Jennings and Ray-Ray McCloud were locks and will once again make up the bulk of the targets in 2023.

The WR5 and WR6 is where things get interesting. Danny Gray did not impress but the 49ers aren't ready to give up on him just yet, while seventh-round rookie Ronnie Bell flashed excellent signs but also had some frustrating drops. Gray and McCloud are both injured and it remains to be seen if they go on injured reserve, so Tay Martin could be a candidate to get back on the team.

Tight End (4):

George Kittle
Ross Dwelley
Charlie Woerner
Brayden Willis


George Kittle once again leads the way as one of the most talented offensive weapons in the league, and his rapport with Purdy could see him having a career season with the 49ers. Ross Dwelley returns as the ever-present backup tight end.

Charlie Woerner sticks on the roster as the blocking tight end, with rookie Brayden Willis looking to work his way into getting snaps after a strong preseason that saw fellow rookie tight end Cameron Latu end up on injured reserve.

Offensive Line (9):

Trent Williams
Aaron Banks
Jake Brendel
Spencer Burford
Colton McKivitz
Jon Feliciano
Jaylon Moore
Matt Pryor
Nick Zakelj


By far the biggest question mark on the team is the offensive line and how it will hold up. The left side of the line and center are fine, but the right side of Spencer Burford and Colton McKivitz will be question marks.

The 49ers will be hopefully not going too deep into the reserves, but have some veteran options in Jon Feliciano and Matt Pryor to look to if need be. Jaylon Moore and Nick Zakelj meanwhile will hopefully continue to develop and become reliable depth options. For now however, this is an area of concern for San Francisco.