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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / State Of The League: San Francisco 49ers

State Of The League: San Francisco 49ers

A First Look at the 2021 49ers!
Publish Date: 08/19/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 14: The San Francisco 49ers come together on the field before the preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Santa Clara, California. The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 19-16. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Training camp and the NFL preseason are here! We are going over all 32 teams’ offseason moves, division by division: their player personnel changes, projected preseason depth charts, and more! Then, moving along in the NFC West, we look in on the San Francisco 49ers!

San Francisco 49ers Preseason Projected Depth Chart

Position Starter Backup
QB Jimmy Garoppolo Trey Lance
RB1 Raheem Mostert Wayne Gallman
RB2 Trey Sermon Elijah Mitchell
FB Kyle Juszczyk
WR1 Brandon Aiyuk Mohamed Sanu
WR2 Deebo Samuel Jauan Jennings
WR3 Trent Sherfield Jalen Hurd
TE George Kittle Ross Dwelley
LT Trent Williams Jaylon Moore
LG Laken Tomlinson Colton McKivitz
C Alex Mack Jake Brendel
RG Daniel Brunskill Aaron Banks
RT Mike McGlinchey Tom Compton
DE Arik Armstead Dee Ford
DT D.J. Jones Zach Kerr
DT Javon Kinlaw Kevin Givens
DE Nick Bosa Kentavius Street
OLB Dre Greenlaw Marcell Harris
MLB Fred Warner Mychal Kendricks
OLB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles Samson Ebukam
CB1 Jason Verrett Dontae Johnson
CB2 K’Waun Williams Ambry Thomas
CB3 Emmanuel Moseley Deommodore Lenoir
FS Jimmie Ward Tavon Wilson
SS Jaquiski Tartt Talanoa Hufanga
K Robbie Gould
P Mitch Wishnowsky
LS Taybor Pepper
KR Richie James Elijah Mitchell
PR Brandon Aiyuk Richie James

*BOLD player name = Rookie*


San Francisco 49ers 2021 NFL Draft Class

Round 1 (3rd overall): QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

Round 2 (48th): OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame

Round 3 (88th): RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State

Round 3 (102nd): CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan

Round 5 (155th): OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan

Round 5 (172nd): CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon

Round 5 (180th): S Talanoa Hufanga, USC

Round 6 (194th): RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana


San Francisco 49ers Offseason Player Personnel Moves

Expired Contracts
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Info / Notes
Richard Sherman CB 33 SF
Ben Garland C 33 SF
Mark Nzeocha OLB 31 SF Option Declined
Ezekiel Ansah DE 32 SF
Jordan Reed TE 31 SF
Tony Bergstrom C 35 SF
Hroniss Grasu C 30 SF
Dion Jordan DE 31 SF
Jamar Taylor CB 31 SF
Chris Thompson WR 27 SF
Mark Fields CB 25 SF Waived
Nate Gerry LB 26 SF Waived
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Acquired via
Alex Mack C 36 ATL SF Free Agency
Trent Sherfield WR 25 ARZ SF Free Agency
Tavon Wilson S 31 IND SF Free Agency
Samson Ebukam OLB 26 LAR SF Free Agency
Wayne Gallman RB 27 NYG SF Free Agency
Mohamed Sanu WR 32 DET SF Free Agency
Nate Sudfeld QB 28 PHI SF Free Agency
James Burgess LB 27 GB SF Free Agency
Senio Kelemete G 31 HOU SF Free Agency
MyCole Pruitt TE 29 TEN SF Free Agency
Eddie Vanderdoes DT 27 HOU SF Free Agency
Shilique Calhoun DE 29 NE SF Free Agency
Mychal Kendricks LB 31 WSH SF Free Agency
Maurice Hurst DT 26 LV SF Free Agency
Arden Key DE 25 LV SF Free Agency
Bennie Fowler WR 30 NO SF Free Agency
Joshua Perkins TE 28 PHI SF Free Agency
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Departed via
Solomon Thomas DE 26 SF LV Free Agency
Tevin Coleman RB 28 SF NYJ Free Agency
Kendrick Bourne WR 26 SF NE Free Agency
Kerry Hyder DE 30 SF SEA Free Agency
C.J. Beathard QB 28 SF JAX Free Agency
Joe Walker ILB 29 SF WSH Free Agency
Nick Mullens QB 26 SF PHI Free Agency
Ronald Blair DE 28 SF NYJ Free Agency
Marquise Goodwin WR 31 SF CHI Free Agency
Trent Taylor WR 27 SF CIN Free Agency
Briean Boddy-Calhoun S 28 SF TEN Free Agency
Jerick McKinnon RB 29 SF KC Free Agency
Ahkello Witherspoon CB 26 SF SEA Free Agency
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Info / Notes
Trent Williams LT 33 SF SF
Jaquiski Tartt S 29 SF SF
Kyle Juszczyk FB 30 SF SF
K’Waun Williams CB 30 SF SF
Jason Verrett CB 30 SF SF
Dontae Johnson CB 30 SF SF
Tom Compton G/T 32 SF SF
Emmanuel Moseley CB 25 SF SF
Daniel Brunskill G/T 27 SF SF
D.J. Jones DT 26 SF SF
Taybor Pepper LS 27 SF SF
Ross Dwelley TE 26 SF SF
Marcell Harris S/LB 27 SF SF
Jordan Willis DE 26 SF SF
Ken Webster CB 25 SF SF
Josh Rosen QB 24 SF SF
River Cracraft WR 27 SF SF
Austin Walter RB 25 SF SF


San Francisco 49ers Offseason Notes/Review

  • Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh left the San Francisco 49ers this offseason to be the head coach of the New York Jets. He took 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur with him to be his offensive coordinator in New York. In their place, the 49ers hired from within promoted run game coordinator Mike McDaniel to offensive coordinator (the 1st assistant coach to hold that title under head coach Kyle Shanahan) and linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans defensive coordinator. The offense wonโ€™t change much, if at all, as Shanahan will still be calling plays, but McDaniel will still have a big role in the game-planning week to week. Ryans will call the defense, and there might be some slight tweaks in the game plan compared to when Saleh ran the defense, but there wonโ€™t be major changes on that side of the ball either.ย 
  • The 49ers didnโ€™t spend big in free agency, but signing Alex Mack to a three-year deal should pay off immediately, as there was a huge need at center coming into the offseason. Though Mack is rather seasoned (36 years old in November), he has been one of the best at his position in the NFL over the course of his career and missed only two games while playing in Atlanta the last five years.ย 
  • The offensive line was a point of emphasis this offseason. The team re-signed Trent Williams to a massive six-year deal that makes him the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL – a questionable decision based on his age and injury concerns, but a necessary move to keep the line in good shape. In addition, they brought in Mack and Senio Kelemete as free agents, re-signed Tom Compton and Daniel Brunskill, and selected Aaron Banks and Jaylon Moore in the NFL Draft. Williams and Mack are locks to start. Brunskill is the current favorite to start at right guard. The rest are competing for backup roles, as the team looked to beef up the depth upfront.ย 
  • This offseason, the big story for the San Francisco 49ers was the trade-up they did before the NFL Draft to move up to number three overall. Everyone knew they were trading up for a quarterback; the question was: which one? After Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones were the top options left. The rumors pointed at it coming down to Jones or Lance, and on draft night, the 49ers opted to go with the raw/big arm/athletic Lance. The questions surrounding Lance were legitimate – small school, lower level of competition, only 17 starts in his college career (including just one start in 2020 due to Covid opt-out), but the physical talent is undeniable. Jimmy G might be the starter this season, but Lance will get playing time in sub packages and might even push Garoppolo as the season goes on if the passing game struggles.
  • Injuries devastated this roster last season, as several starters spent significant time on the sideline. The list includes Garoppolo, George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams, Raheem Mostert, Dee Ford, Jaquiski Tartt, K’Waun Williams, and other key backups/rotational players as well. This is a talented team with a solid ground game, an excellent defensive front, and upper echelon coaching; all the ingredients to make a push for a division crown and more. Having an easy schedule outside of the division helps, but this team wonโ€™t go anywhere if they suffer the same injury woes of last season, or Jimmy G canโ€™t take this team to the next level.
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