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Position-by-Position Breakdown of the 49ers Initial 2022 53-Man Roster


The San Francisco 49ers have made the necessary moves to trim down the roster from 80 players to the league-mandated 53 by the Aug. 30, 1pm PT deadline. NFL rosters are constantly changing, so while tough decisions were made Tuesday, the 49ers will continue to evaluate the team and make personnel changes as needed throughout the season.

Expanded practice squads will remain for a third-straight season, allowing clubs to hold 16 total players. The team will announce its practice squad roster over the course of the next few days.

Here is a position-by-position breakdown of the 49ers roster headed into Week 1:


Quarterbacks (3)

In 2022, the 49ers decided to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster. Lance was named San Francisco's QB1 at the start of camp and saw action in two preseason games, finishing 11-of-16 for 141 yards and a touchdown. No. 5 made two starts his rookie season (2021) and appeared in six regular season contests.

Garoppolo is entering his sixth season with San Francisco on a restructured, one-year deal. He spent the entirety of the offseason recovering from a shoulder surgery and participating in an individual throwing program. No. 10 helped lead the 49ers to an NFC Championship appearance and 10-7 overall record in 2021.

Purdy, who was the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, earned his spot on the 53-man roster after splitting the bulk of the snaps with Nate Sudfeld this preseason. "Mr. Irrelevant" closed out the three-game schedule 30-of-49 passing for 346 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Although initially tabbed as a potential practice squad player, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the rookie quarterback earned his spot on the team with an impressive preseason showing.


Running Backs/Fullback (6)

The running back position was one of the more highly contested battles of the offseason with plenty of young talent vying for a limited number of spots.

Wilson Jr. missed out on the first eight games of the 2021 season nursing a knee injury, but this year, a healthy offseason has made all the difference. No. 22 put together a nice training camp, earning significant reps with the first-team offense in practice and averaged 5.3 yards a carry in his one preseason outing.

Davis-Price, a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, hit his stride in the second preseason game versus the Minnesota Vikings. The LSU product had the hot hand and closed out the team's first road game of the year with 10 carries for 41 yards and a team-long 14-yard run.

Mitchell, who was the team's top running back of 2021, dealt with a hamstring issue for the better part of training camp. Shanahan reported that Mitchell is "on schedule" to be ready for the regular season opener versus the Chicago Bears on Sept. 11. The running back returned to practice in full pads on Sunday.


Wide Receivers (5)

Outside of the top receivers – Samuel, Aiyuk and Jennings – there aren't any surprises here with McCloud III and Gray making strong cases for roster spots in San Francisco's three exhibition contests.

Gray, the team's third-round draft pick out of SMU, showed off his speed in training camp and during the preseason slate to earn his place on San Francisco's 2022 team. His highlight of the summer was a 76-yard touchdown catch from Lance in the preseason opener. He averaged over 30 yards a catch throughout the exhibition schedule.


Tight Ends (3)

The trio from the 2021 season is back at it again, anchored by Kittle, one of the league's best at this position. He is joined by Woerner, who opened up training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He was activated in mid-August, just days after the preseason opener versus Green Bay. The third-year tight end was only made available for the preseason finale in Houston but did not see any game action.

Dwelley is entering his fifth season with San Francisco and had a big performance in the 49ers final preseason game. No. 82 was the receiving yards leader against the Texans, catching passes from Lance, Sudfeld and Brock Purdy. He finished the contest with three catches for 42 yards.

Jordan Matthews suffered a season-ending ACL tear in early August and is currently on the Injured Reserve list.


Offensive Line (9)

The starting lineup of the 49ers front line changed game-to-game in the preseason as the position group worked through injuries. Williams, who is now entering his 13th season in the league, was a lock to make the team and was held out of exhibition game action entirely.

Aside from Williams, the rest of the O-line on the 53-man roster got at least one start in a preseason contest—with Burford and Banks starting all three.

The battle for starting center between Brendel and Brunskill cooled down towards the tail end of camp with Brunskill suffering a hamstring injury in the preseason opener versus Green Bay. In 2021, Brunskill made 17 regular season starts at the right guard position for the 49ers and, once healthy, could be used as a swing player on the offensive line.


Defensive Line (9)

The 49ers opted to keep nine D-lineman on the roster this season. Depth on the defensive line is of high value for San Francisco, and talent to choose from was in no short supply. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans got to see multiple configurations of the front four throughout the preseason. During the regular season, he'll have the ability to rotate any number of players in without seeing a drop-off in talent.

In a highly competitive defensive unit, Kinlaw managed to impress in the preseason. No. 99 played 20 snaps versus the Vikings and recorded an 11-yard sack. What the stats don't reflect is how much faster and freer Kinlaw is playing after undergoing ACL reconstruction last fall. The defensive tackle said he's finally back to having fun now that he's playing pain-free.

For the second season in a row, Maurice Hurst landed on IR. The defensive lineman is expected to miss the entirety of 2022 after suffering a biceps injury.


Linebackers (6)

Warner, Al-Shaair and Greenlaw return as San Francisco's starters with Flannigan-Fowles and Burks added for depth. Burks was brought in via free agency for his special teams expertise but has seen significant snaps at the linebacker position during the preseason. No. 48 suffered a knee sprain in the preseason finale but is expected to be ready for game action in time for Week 1.

D-CB (1)

Cornerbacks (5)

With Jason Verrett starting the season on the Reserve/PUP list, Ward and Moseley are locks at starters and will likely be working with second-year Lenoir or the rookie, Womack III, at nickel. Lenoir earned considerable snaps with the first-team defense in the preseason and training camp.

With Ward and Moseley nursing injuries for a large portion of camp, Womack III also saw his fair share of playing time over the last three games. The sixth rounder made the most of his opportunities on defense and special teams, notching two interceptions, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery in his three outings. His performance earned him a 91.1 coverage grade and 0.0 passer rating allowed on his five total targets.


Safeties (4)

Ward, who is the 49ers longest tenured player, is currently dealing with a hamstring injury that per general manager John Lynch will likely land him on the Injured Reserve list. If that is the case, Ward will be ineligible for the first four games of the year but as of Tuesday, there has been no change in his roster designation.

Hufanga, along with Moore and Odum, have taken the bulk of the starting reps. Odum saw increased first-team reps this preseason in the absence of Ward. His best showing during the exhibition schedule came against Minnesota. In that game, the 49ers free agent addition picked off Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond and also had a pass deflection.


Specialists (3)

The trio is back together for a third-straight year.

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