On Thursday, general manager John Lynch and assistant general manager Adam Peters addressed the media to discuss the moves made to cut down the San Francisco 49ers roster to 53 players by the league-mandated Aug. 30 deadline and begin assembling the practice squad.
Construction of the 2022 Active Roster and Practice Squad
As of Thursday morning, San Francisco made several changes to the 53-man team, signing TE Tyler Kroft and DL Jordan Willis, claiming OL Blake Hance off waivers, placing S Jimmie Ward and LB Curtis Robinson on the Injured Reserve list and waiving RB Trey Sermon. In addition to these moves, the team filled 13 of its available practice squad spots and welcomed back NFL International Pathway Program player OL Alfredo Gutierrez.
The general manager spoke to the difficult decisions that were made to get the roster to its current configuration.
"It's gut-wrenching to watch these players, the angst, the anxiety, the nervousness," Lynch said. "More than anything, watching guys put everything that they have in preparation, all their heart, mind and everything into a goal, and when it's not realized, it's tough to deliver that message."
Because the NFL has opted to keep expanded practice squad rosters to 16, the 49ers GM cited that many of the players that participated in San Francisco's training camp are staying with the team in some capacity.
Lynch and Peters outlook of the current active roster is incredibly optimistic. The 49ers were able to add depth to positions of need and have seen early returns from rookie players in addition to having a healthy stock of returning veterans.
"This team as its constructed has a chance," the general manager added. "That is a good feeling going into a year."
Seven of San Francisco's nine drafts picks in the 2022 NFL Draft earned a spot on the active roster which is a huge nod to the 49ers Personnel and Scouting department that is headed up by the assistant general manager.
"We thought we had a lot of talent in there," Peters said. "We thought we got really good value, especially with our first three picks and then, on down the line."
Outside of its seven draft picks, the 49ers are also enthusiastic about Jordan Mason, an undrafted rookie addition that beat out returning running backs for his place on the team.
"We got this kid out of Georgia Tech as a backup, and we couldn't deny it at the end of the day that he hadn't earned a spot on the roster," Lynch said. "What J.P. Mason becomes, I don't know. We're very encouraged and we think that he's really going to be a good football player for us. He runs in our style. Ultimately, it came down to that."
Another key pickup for the 49ers offensive line was Hance. The former Browns player was claimed off waivers Wednesday and made his debut with the team Thursday morning. According to the 49ers brain trust, Hance's biggest strength is his versatility.
"Having a backup center, someone who's done it is very important," Lynch added. "Blake did a lot of that last year for Cleveland, but he has also played left tackle; he has played right tackle. He's played both guards, and we're excited about that. Those guys are extremely useful."
In the coming days, the team will look to fill its remaining practice squad openings.
Other Notes from Practice
A few 49ers players debuted their new jersey numbers. Here are the number changes as seen on the field today:
The newly signed OL Blake Hance wore No. 61.