Heading into the 2022 NFL season, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch thing to focus on one thing—depth. There will be some exciting battles in training camp in 2022 at just about every position. Let’s dig into the four deepest parts of this year’s team.
We’ll begin with the deepest position on the roster—the defensive line. The 49ers currently have 16 defensive linemen on their 90-man roster. The battle on edge will be one to watch for sure. With Dee Ford still on the roster, it will be interesting to see what the 49ers choose to do with him. Shanahan may plan to move forward with his release pending his physical. Drake Jackson, Kemoko Turay, Jordan Willis, Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, Alex Barrett, and Kerry Hyder Jr. will provide sparks for this upcoming training camp. The 49ers have nine edge rushers on the roster, including Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. Who will be the odd man out?
The second deepest position is the offensive line, with 15 players on the 90-man roster. Many feel the offensive line is the weakest position on the team. I beg to differ. After the starting five (Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Daniel Brunskill, and Mike McGlinchey), it is more about inexperience with the ten remaining offensive linemen.
Justin Skule, Colton Mckivitz, and Alfredo Guiterrez have experience in Shanahan’s system. Keaton Sutherland was a veteran addition to the line, which leaves us with the remaining draft picks and undrafted free agents. I’m most excited to watch the rookies in training camp, with the new additions of Spencer Burford, Nick Zakelj, Sam Schlueter, Jason Poe, and Dohnovan West. Will any of the rookies make it to the 53-man roster?
Let’s keep it on the offensive side and speed things up with the wide receivers. The wide receiver position consists of 11 players, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, and fourth-round draft pick Danny Gray, also known as the furious five. What’s going to make this year’s camp enjoyable are the other six receivers on the roster.
The veterans are Malik Turner, Marcus Johnson, Austin Mack, and KeeSean Johnson. All four players have NFL experience and could provide great depth at the wide receiver position. The two undrafted players, Taysir Mack and Tay Martin, also have a legitimate shot at making this roster. It will be interesting to see how many wide receivers Shanahan will take. My number is six, and he will go with the veteran Malik Turner. If Shanahan goes with seven, who will be the seventh receiver?
I decided to save the best for last. The cornerback position is where players talk the most trash but also have to back it up. The cornerback position has been the Achilles heel foe the 49ers for several decades. Whether due to bad fit, injuries, or lack of development, the 49ers just struggled at getting right at this position. The last few years have been decent with Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett—when healthy. They also drafted Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, who look promising as they continue to develop.
The 49ers made two key free agent moves at the cornerback position with Charvarius Ward’s signing and Verrett’s re-signing. The cornerback battles will be engaging in training camp. With Charvarius Ward starting at one spot, who will line up on the opposite side? Is it safe to say it will be Moseley, or does Verrett work his way back to a starting role?
Nevertheless, the competition will be fierce at the cornerback position. The only question is who will line up in the nickel for the 49ers. Will it be Darqueze Dennard, Dontae Johnson, Thomas, or the rookie Samuel Womack III?
The 49ers are deep at just about every position.
The key to the 49ers’ depth is that it’s the correct depth, meaning the players are skilled at their positions. The team shouldn’t skip a beat if a player leaves the game. Getting this roster down to 53 men is going to be a challenge. I can’t wait to do an early 53-man roster article before training camp. Whatever players don’t make the 53-man roster, the practice will help them land spots on other teams.
Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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