BUILDING A ROSTER?
As we get closer to the start of the regular season, it is time to start breaking down how the roster will be built. Each year the coaching staff has to put together a list of personnel that have earned a spot on the roster for the upcoming season. Head Coach Shanahan takes input and discusses players with General Manager John Lynch. This year will be slightly different in the fact that there are some different rules governing how NFL team rosters are built. While the process will be the same, who makes the team and who gets waived in hopes of placing them on the expanded practice squad may take a little bit more forecasting.
Every NFL Head Coach has an idea of how many players they want to keep at each position in an effort to make the best of their game plan. Kyle has some tendencies when it comes to the number of players that are kept at each position. Last year the team started the season with the following breakdown; 3 Quarterback, 4 Running Backs, 7 Wide Receivers, 4 Tight Ends, 8 Offensive Linemen, 10 Defensive Linemen, 5 Linebackers, 6 Cornerbacks and 3 Safeties. This year due to the quality of players on the roster, I would venture to say that the team will swap one Tight End and Defensive Linemen for two additional Safeties.
These changes will be necessary to get the 53 best players on the roster. With the addition of 6 slots on the practice squad that are veterans eligible, it will be possible to stash several potential experienced players in the event of injury or a COVID outbreak. For instance, players like Tom Compton, Joe Walker, Donte Johnson or Dion Jordan could have a place on the practice squad, which couldn’t have been the case during previous seasons. I’m not saying that they will be, but the option is there for Kyle and John to use if they need it. I think a good example might be to waive Jaron Brown and resign him to the practice squad in order to keep a player like Jauan Jennings or JaMycal Hasty from being picked up by another team.
One downside to the expanded practice squad is that a single player can only be elevated twice and returned to the squad. This would keep the 49ers from placing a player like C.J. Beathard on the squad because once you elevate the player a third time, they must pass through the waiver process per the new CBA. Not that I think a player like Beathard would be pick up but once he reverts to the practice squad, he would not be eligible to be elevated again. As we draw closer to the season and we wade through more inevitable injuries, I will put together a roster projection.
Prepare for Glory.
Always Remain Faithful