Position-by-Position Breakdown of the 49ers Initial 2021 53-man Roster


Ahead of Tuesday's 1 p.m. deadline, the San Francisco 49ers have officially trimmed their roster from 80 to its initial 53 players. NFL rosters are fluid, and that's no exception for San Francisco. As the team continues to evaluate the roster, it's likely the 49ers will continue to make moves over the course of the week and through the rest of the season.

"Everyone makes such a big deal of the final 53," Shanahan said on Monday. "The only day it's the final 53 is on that day. Never in the history of the NFL has it ever been your final 53. You're changing that roster throughout the year, all the time. And yeah, guys might have opportunities to go other places and get on theirs, but we have guys go down and we have to change this roster throughout the year. We like to bring people in that we know and guys that we've worked with. And I see those guys in this building."

Having expanded its practice squad members from 10-16 last year, the 49ers will announce its roster over the course of the next few days. With that, here is a position-by-position breakdown of where the 49ers currently stand heading into Week 1.


Quarterbacks (2)

Not too much of a surprise here beyond the fact that the 49ers are holding just two quarterbacks on the active roster this season. Last year, the 49ers opted to keep three, which worked to their benefit with each quarterback appearing in at least six games in 2020.


Running Backs/Fullback (5)

Raheem Mostert, Trey Sermon, JaMycal Hasty, Elijah Mitchell and Kyle Juszczyk

Hasty's standout training camp and preseason earned him a spot on the 49ers 53. One of the surprises was the release of Wayne Gallman II, who put together a nice preseason outing.

Following the release of receivers Travis Benjamin and Nsimba Webster, the 49ers appear confident in Mitchell's ability on special teams. The rookie opened Sunday's preseason finale with a special teams tackle to start the Las Vegas Raiders at their own 15. He went on to take snaps at kickoff return, totaling 60 yards across both attempts.


Wide Receiver (6)

Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Mohamed Sanu Sr., Trent Sherfield, Jalen Hurd and Jauan Jennings.

The receiver position was one of the most dynamic battles of the offseason with just a number of spots available. Samuel, Aiyuk and Sanu Sr. appeared as locks, with Sherfield making a strong case with his camp and preseason showings.

The 49ers viewed Hurd as one of their top six receivers. Both parties hope the versatile wideout can remain healthy and make his first regular season debut since being drafted in 2019.

Jennings, who was cut ahead of the 53-man deadline last year and signed to the team's practice squad, also made a preseason push, beating out several veterans for a spot on the 49ers roster.


Tight End (3)

Unlike years prior, the 49ers opted to go with three tight ends heading into 2021 following the releases of MyCole Pruitt and newly converted TE Jordan Matthews.


Offensive Linemen (8)

Alex Mack, Daniel Brunskill, Aaron Banks, Tom Compton, Mike McGlinchey, Trent Williams, Laken Tomlinson and Jaylon Moore.

Beyond the 49ers starting five O-linemen, there aren't too many surprises here. It's likely San Francisco could look to maneuver some players onto the team's practice squad, as depth will be crucial throughout a now-17 game season.

Tackle Shon Coleman was placed on Injured Reserve after dealing with a tricep strain on Sunday and, according to Shanahan, will be out "awhile."


Defensive Linemen (11)

Dee Ford, Samson Ebukam, Kevin Givens, Arik Armstead, Zach Kerr, D.J. Jones, Kentavius Street, Maurice Hurst, Nick Bosa, Arden Key and Javon Kinlaw .

The 49ers value their depth at defensive line, so it's not too much of a surprise that the team opted to keep 11 players on the roster. Hurst could be a player that the 49ers opt to place on Injured Reserve following his high ankle sprain suffered in San Francisco's second preseason matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.While he's expected to miss some time, if Hurst is placed on IR, he can return to the active roster after three weeks.

Additionally, Jordan Willis will begin the season on the Reserve/Suspended list and can return to the active roster after Week 6.


Linebackers (5)

Warner, Greenlaw and Al-Shaair remain the 49ers starting linebackers heading into the season. Flannigan-Fowlesreturns to the 53 as added depth at the position, along with Harris, the former safety, who will make his debut as a newly converted linebacker.

On Tuesday morning, the 49ers traded Jonas Griffith to the Denver Broncos for two Day 3 picks over the next two drafts. Griffith made a strong push for a spot on the final 53, however, the 49ers managed to earn value out of the former undrafted linebacker.


Cornerbacks (6)

Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, K'Waun Williams, Deommodore Lenoir , Ambry Thomas and Davontae Harris.

Verrett and Moseley are likely to be the 49ers starters heading into the regular season with Williams as the team's starting nickel. Lenoir earned snaps at slot corner in the preseason, allowing a passer rating of 15.8 across his 10 targets in three contests.


Safety (4)

Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Talanoa Hufanga and Tavon Wilson.

The 49ers had an excess of talent, but a limited number of roster spots at safety with Ward as the only apparent lock. His position mate, Tartt, made a resurgence last week after missing the entirety of the 49ers offseason program with a lingering toe injury that ended his 2020 campaign prematurely. With Tartt out, Wilson inserted his name into serious contention at safety.

Hufanga has been a defensive standout to earn a well-deserved spot as a talent at safety and as a special teams gunner.


Specialists (3)

The gang is back together again.