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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San Francisco 49ers, Fred Warner
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Defense/Special Teams

Defensive Line (8):

Javon Hargrave
Arik Armstead
Drake Jackson
Clelin Ferrell
Kevin Givens
Javon Kinlaw
Kalia Davis
Robert Beal


Seeing Nick Bosa absent is never good, but hopefully that deal gets done before Week 1 and he doesn't miss any time. In the meantime Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead will anchor the interior, while Drake Jackson will be gunning for a breakout year. If time is missed, Clelin Ferrell will presumably man Bosa's spot.

Kerry Hyder and Austin Bryant were released but may come back to the team in the coming days to provide backup pass-rushing depth. Kevin Given and Javon Kinlaw will provide that in the meantime with the latter on his final chance to move past bust status, while Kalia Davis will essentially be a rookie after medically redshirting his rookie year. Rookie Robert Beal rounds out the defensive line as the final member.

Linebacker (6):

Fred Warner
Dre Greenlaw
Oren Burks
Jalen Graham
Dee Winters
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles


One surprise by the 49ers was that they cut Marcelino McCrary-Ball, who had an impressive preseason and looked like he could be the third linebacker on the team. Instead the team will probably go with Oren Burks or Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles to fill that role.

Rookies Dee Winters and Jalen Graham make the cut, and could very well fight for playing time to get into that third linebacker role at some point.

Cornerback (5):

Charvarius Ward
Deommodore Lenoir
Ambry Thomas
Samuel Womack
Isaiah Oliver


Given how thin cornerback is, it was a shock to see D'Shawn Jamison cut after impressing so much during the preseason. The team will be going with Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir on the outside, while the slot could very be up for grabs if Isaiah Oliver continues to have problems.

On the positive side, Samuel Womack has looked impressive and has a spot on the roster. Could he end up being the next big find for the 49ers as he enters his second season?

Safety (4):

Tashaun Gipson
Talanoa Hufanga
George Odum
Ji'Ayir Brown


While cornerback is one of the weaker positional groups for the 49ers, safety is one of the stronger ones for the team and there's no surprises here with this foursome.

Tashaun Gipson and Talanoa Hufanga return as the strong starting duo, while reliable veteran George Odum and exciting rookie Ji'Ayir Brown will back them up with the latter looking to replace Gipson in 2024.

Special Teams (3):

Jake Moody
Mitch Wishnowsky
Taybor Pepper


No shocks here with third-round rookie kicker Jake Moody taking the mantle along with Mitch Wishnowsky returning as punter and the reliable Taybor Pepper as punter.

The only question is will Moody recover from his quad strain in time to open the season or not. Could Robbie Gould make a surprise return from the team if Moody is put on injured reserve?

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