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10 Observations from 49ers Initial 53-man Roster

View every player currently on the San Francisco 49ers 2017 90-man roster.

The San Francisco 49ers have whittled their roster down to 53 players as Saturday's 1 p.m. PT deadline has come and gone. As is the case each year, changes could be made at any point with players around the NFL being released into the open market. The NFL waiver wire will be something to watch on Sunday.

Here's a look at Saturday's transactions. Some of the waived players could find themselves on the team's 10-man practice squad. General manager Trent Baalke will likely begin assembling San Francisco's practice squad immediately.

Released on Saturday:

WR Dres Anderson, OL Alex Balducci, WR Devon Cajuste, DL Demetrius Cherry, OL Fahn Cooper, QB Jeff Driskel, TE Je'Ron Hamm, RB DuJuan Harris, CB Prince Charles Iworah, OL Colin Kelly, LB Corey Lemonier, DL D.J. McBryde, OL Norman Price, LB Marcus Rush, LB Shayne Skov, NT Garrison Smith, RB Kelvin Taylor, WR Bryce Treggs, WR Ryan Whalen and WR DeAndrew White

Now for some initial observations of the 53-man roster...

1. The 49ers kept three quarterbacks: Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick and Christian Ponder.

Ponder's excellent preseason earned him a roster spot. The veteran quarterback led two fourth-quarter comebacks against the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers. The veteran signal-caller threw for 198 yards and one touchdown in three total preseason appearances and ran for an additional 39 yards with three rushing touchdowns. San Francisco didn't sign Ponder until Aug. 16, when Kaepernick was sitting due to shoulder fatigue.

Chip Kelly announced on a conference call that Gabbert will start Week 1, Kaepernick will be the No. 2 and Ponder will be inactive on gameday.

2. Two of San Francisco's additional roster moves on Saturday came at the wide receiver position. The team waived/injured DeAndre Smelter and acquired veteran wideout Rod Streater from the Kansas City Chiefs. Streater has four years of NFL experience, all with the Oakland Raiders, and has posted 109 catches for 1,564 yards and eight touchdowns.

That leaves the 49ers with five receivers: Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Jeremy Kerley, Aaron Burbridge and Streater.

Burbridge is the lone rookie wideout to make the club and one of seven 2016 draft choices on the roster.

3. Bruce Miller's transition to tight end continues to be a successful one. The former star fullback has made the roster at his new pass-catching role. He joins Garrett Celek, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell as San Francisco's four tight ends.

4. Mike Davis' 148 rushing yards in the preseason and 7.8 yards-per-carry average earned him the No. 3 running back role behind Pierre Garçon and Shaun Draughn.

5. San Francisco kept nine offensive lineman: Joe Staley, Joshua Garnett, Zane Beadles, Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin, Anthony Davis, Andrew Tiller, Trent Brown and John Theus.

6. The 49ers moved Aaron Lynch to the Reserve/Suspended List. The pass-rusher will begin serving his four-game suspension immediately.

San Francisco will roll with three outside linebackers until Lynch returns: Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold and Garrett Celek.

7. It's still undecided who will start at weakside inside linebacker next to NaVorro Bowman, but Ray-Ray Armstrong, Gerald Hodges and Michael Wilhoite are all still on the roster.

Nick Bellore is the fifth inside 'backer on the team.

8. Marcus Cromartie's versatility to play cornerback, safety and special teams kept him on the roster. The third-year defensive back has made a successful transition to safety as he still continues to play all over the 49ers secondary.

Tramaine Brock, Jimmie Ward, Chris Davis, Keith Reaser, Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson are the cornerbacks on the roster.

Eric Reid, Antoine Bethea and Jaquiski Tartt are the safeties.

9. Glenn Dorsey is on San Francisco's active roster. The veteran defensive lineman has yet to practice as he works his way back from an ACL tear suffered in 2015. Dorsey is joined by Ronald Blair III, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Quinton Dial, Mike Purcell and Tony Jerod-Eddie as the seven defensive linemen on the roster.

10. As expected San Francisco's specialists will be the same as last season with kicker Phil Dawson, punter Bradley Pinion and longsnapper Kyle Nelson.

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