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Position-By-Position Breakdown of the 49ers Initial 2023 53-Man Roster

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The San Francisco 49ers have made their moves to arrive at their initial 53-man roster by the NFL's August 29, 1:00 p.m. PT deadline. Unlike in years past, clubs did not go through a series of league-mandated roster reductions over the course of training camp and the preseason due to a resolution passed in March at the Annual League Meeting. Instead, teams only had to meet one cutdown date.

Expanded practice squads will remain for a fourth-straight season, allowing clubs to hold 16 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)

The 49ers decided to keep three quarterbacks on the roster in 2023, a decision that combined with the league's new emergency quarterback rule, can help avoid personnel issues like the one the team was faced in the NFC Championship Game in late January. With the new emergency quarterback rule, clubs around the league will be able to dress a quarterback on gamedays without having that player count against the team's active player roster limit.

Purdy was named the starter upon being medically cleared from a season-ending elbow injury to rejoin the 49ers for training camp. The former seventh-round draft pick took over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13 of the 2022 season and led San Francisco to eight-straight wins and an NFC Championship Game appearance.

Darnold, a free agency addition, adds five seasons of NFL experience to the 49ers QB room, and was named San Francisco's backup quarterback ahead of the team's preseason finale. Allen, also a veteran, rounds out the quarterback trio after joining the team in May.

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Running Backs/Fullback (5)

San Francisco's running back room is headlined by do-it-all back Christian McCaffrey, who was acquired via trade in Week 7 of the 2022 season. McCaffrey is coming off one of his most productive NFL seasons in which he amassed 244 carries for 1,139 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and added another 85 catches for 741 yards and five scores through the air.

Mitchell, San Francisco's rushing leader from the 2021 season, is set to enter his third season and looks to bounce back after spending a large portion of 2022 battling through some lingering knee injuries. Davis-Price and Mason each return with a year of experience under their belts and a combined 18 appearances throughout their rookie seasons. Meanwhile, seven-time Pro Bowler Juszczyk remains the 49ers staple fullback for a seventh-straight season.


Wide Receivers (6)

The 49ers wide receiver corps is almost a copy and paste from the 2022 season outside of one newcomer to the position group. Seventh-round draft pick Ronnie Bell makes the cut after a tremendous showing in training camp and the preseason. Bell was highly involved in the 49ers pass game and was also utilized a great deal as return specialist after McCloud III suffered a broken wrist in practice. Bell closed out the preseason as San Francisco's receptions leader, catching 10 passes for 172 yards over the course of three contests.

Although six receivers have made the initial 53-man roster, injuries to both McCloud III (wrist) and Gray (shoulder) could call for quick changes to this position group should the team's decision makers see the need to place either of these players on the Injured Reserve list.


Tight Ends (4)

The 49ers opted to take four tight ends into the 2023 season, anchored once again by Pro Bowler George Kittle. The seventh-year pro is coming off a career-best scoring season, racking up 60 receptions for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022. He is joined by Dwelley and Woerner for a fourth-straight season and fifth-round draft pick Brayden Willis. Fellow rookie tight end Cameron Latu has been placed on the Injured Reserve list.


Offensive Line (9)

The starting lineup of the 49ers front line remains largely the same from last year with just one free agency departure shaking things up. Colton McKivitz has been named the 49ers right tackle and will assume the role of Mike McGlinchey from 2022. The tackle has had an unconventional journey with San Francisco, failing to make the initial 53-man roster in 2021 and then working his way to a starting job just two years later.

Free agent additions Matt Pryor and Jon Feliciano will serve as key depth pieces across the offensive line. Third-year pro Jaylon Moore has served as the primary backup for All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams over the course of the 2023 preseason and had his best showing against the Los Angeles Chargers, coming away with a clean stat sheet.


Defensive Line (8)

The 49ers have 11 defensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster. The 49ers front office made the revamp of San Francisco's D-line a top priority this offseason, bringing in Hargrave and Ferrell, both of whom have made it past the cutdown.

Hargrave is the most notable addition to 49ers defensive front and is coming off a career-best season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022. The defensive tackle started all 17 games and finished with 60 tackles, a career-high 11.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two passes defensed and one forced fumble. He also started all three postseason games and notched nine tackles, 1.0 sack and one pass defensed.

After spending most of 2022 on the NFI list due to an ACL injury, Davis returned to practice at the tail end of the season and has been steadily ramping up to full go over the course of the offseason programming, training camp and preseason slate.


Linebackers (6)

Warner and Greenlaw are the veteran mainstays of the linebacker corps and are joined by Burks, Flannigan-Fowles, Winters and Graham on the 53-man roster. Two rookies, Winters and Graham, both late-round draft picks will round out the 49ers linebacker room.

Burks was working in at the third starting linebacker spot early in training camp before suffering a knee injury in joint practice against the Las Vegas Raiders. Shanahan is hoping Burks will be ready to go in time for Week 1 of the regular season.


Cornerbacks (5)

This younger skewing cornerback room will be led by veterans Charvarius Ward and Isaiah Oliver. Ward is set to enter his second season with San Francisco and served as the 49ers lockdown corner in 2022, racking up 87 total tackles, 11 passes defensed, a fumble recovery and interception.

Oliver joined the team in free agency after spending five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Oliver, along with Lenoir, Womack III and Thomas have seen time at the nickelback position as the 49ers look to find their best corner configuration heading into the regular season.

Lenoir, now a third-year pro, took over CB2 responsibilities alongside Ward last season after Emmanuel Moseley suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 5 versus the Carolina Panthers. He really hit his stride in the postseason, notching two of his three interceptions during the 49ers playoff run.


Safeties (4)

Expect to see the dynamic duo of Gipson Sr. and Hufanga back on the field for another go around in the upcoming season. Gipson Sr. is set to enter his 12th NFL season. Initially signed as a depth piece ahead of last season, Gipson Sr. went on to start all 17 regular season contests and has cemented himself as a veteran presence in the defensive backs room.

Rookie Ji'Ayir Brown was the 49ers highest draft pick of 2023 and is the new face on San Francisco's 53-man roster. The Penn State product saw plenty of live action throughout the team's preseason slate and is expected to be an immediate contributor in 2023. Odum, a Second-Team All-Pro from 2022, will begin the season injured as he works through a shoulder injury from the preseason.


Specialists (3)

The specialist trio welcomes newcomer Jake Moody to the group as the team's kicker of the future. The third-round draft pick suffered a right quad strain ahead of the team's third preseason game and is not expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. According to Shanahan, the team is looking at outside options to fill the gap at the kicker position.

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