Despite youth, depth a strength at D-line with 49ers' first 53-man roster

Here’s a player-by-player look at the San Francisco 49ers' 53-man roster:


Colin Kaepernick: If this is not a make-or-break season for him, he can definitely see it from here.

Blaine Gabbert: Heaped with an unusually high amount of praise by coach Jim Tomsula in the preseason.


Carlos Hyde: Niners have the utmost confidence in him to be the heir apparent to franchise all-time leading rusher Frank Gore.

Reggie Bush: Reps will be limited to keep his tank full for third-down situations.

Mike Davis: Hard-nosed rookie has to make the most of what will be limited touches.

Jarryd Hayne: Trick now for converted Australian rugby league star is to get activated on NFL game days.


Bruce Miller: Fierce blocker with soft hands to catch passes as an outlet, so long as no NFL-mandated discipline comes his way.


Anquan Boldin: Will be counted on even more heavily as Kaepernick’s Mr. Dependable with a re-worked receiving corps.

Torrey Smith: Bruised knee suffered in preseason less a concern than building chemistry with Kaepernick.

Bruce Ellington: Put on a show in preseason finale to claim No. 3 WR spot and should be top returner on special teams.

Quinton Patton: Promised he would break out this season so the clock is ticking, especially with Jerome Simpson serving six-game suspension.

DeAndrew White: Showed fans in preseason finale what he has shown in training camp with acrobatic grabs and playmaking ability.


Vernon Davis: Is this the last ride for Davis in a contract year for the re-focused, longest-tenured 49ers player?

Vance McDonald: The blocking tight end on the roster figures to throw his weight around on obvious running plays, so long as his ankle is sound.

Garrett Celek: The pass-catching tight end on the roster figures to show his hands on obvious passing plays when Davis is not an option.

Blake Bell: Converted quarterback will have a tough time getting active on game days but should have the year to learn the position.


Joe Staley: Best overall player on the roster will have to exhibit patience at left tackle on a reshuffled line that's sure to experience growing pains.

Alex Boone: Still trying to figure out if left guard liked or hated Jim Harbaugh, and if he had to explain his about-face in the locker room.

Marcus Martin: Back at center from right guard with Daniel Kilgore on the PUP list.

Jordan Devey: Claimed a starting gig at right guard after less than two weeks on the team when youngsters would not grab it.

Erik Pears: Originally signed for depth, now charged with sealing the edge in front of Kaepernick at right tackle.

Brandon Thomas: Team still has high hopes, as the 2014 draft pick who sat out last year recovering from knee injury can seemingly play anywhere on the line.

Trent Brown: Massive rookie was seeing first-team reps at right tackle early in the offseason workouts.

Ian Silberman: Rookie has been given opportunities at right guard and at center.

Nick Easton: Cut day pickup in trade with the Baltimore Ravens figures to be backup center … as soon as he learns the scheme.


Glenn Dorsey: Nose tackle by trade now starting at left defensive end in 3-4 scheme, and his six career sacks represent half of the sacks racked up by the seven D-linemen … combined.

Ian Williams: Surprisingly agile, mobile and hostile despite being somewhat undersized for a nose tackle.

Quinton Dial: Stepping in for Justin Smith at right defensive end, Dial is expected to blossom as a starter.

Tank Carradine: Showed the nastiest temperament on the D-line in training camp scuffles, but will that translate in games?

Arik Armstead: First-round draft pick has shown power in flashes and figures to get the released Darnell Dockett’s snaps at left DE in the Niners’ nickel packages.

Tony Jerod-Eddie: Played some outside linebacker in preseason finale, perhaps portending more blitzing from a player who has yet to get a career sack.

Mike Purcell: Feel-good story showed he belongs with big preseason games against Houston (dominated line of scrimmage) and Dallas (37-yard pick-six).


Corey Lemonier: The more he’s written off, the larger Lemonier looms as the team’s unlikely starter at left outside linebacker.

NaVorro Bowman: Yes, the surgically repaired left knee appears just fine, thank you very much. Now the question is how will it respond after a halftime break?

Michael Wilhoite: Missed the first half of camp and quickly reclaimed his starting ILB spot from the released Nick Moody and gets the chance to vibe with Bowman inside.

Aaron Lynch: Offseason back surgery slowed him in camp, but he is still the best candidate to replace Aldon Smith as the team’s best pass-rush threat.

Eli Harold: Rookie may be undersized to be an every-down pass-rusher at right OLB, but his motor does not quit.

Ahmad Brooks: Despite facing misdemeanor sexual battery charge and having been asked to stay away from the team for almost two weeks, expected to play in season-opener with no suspension handed down by the NFL.

Shayne Skov: Practice squad survivor from Stanford is Bowman’s backup.

Nick Bellore: Missed early part of camp with illness but is expected to contribute mostly on special teams.


Tramaine Brock: Team’s best cornerback will also slide inside in the nickel, so long as his tweaked hamstring cooperates a year after he was limited to three games due to toe, ankle and hamstring injuries.

Kenneth Acker: Made his bones by picking off Peyton Manning in the end zone and breaking up another Manning pass on the goal line.

Keith Reaser: Younger cousin of late Washington DB Sean Taylor also saw time with the first-team defense in camp.

Dontae Johnson: At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he is the most physically imposing member of the Niners' secondary.

Shareece Wright: Has only one interception in his four-year career and has led the NFL in pass interference penalties (12) since 2013.


Antoine Bethea: Strong safety was team MVP last season and is Mr. Durable, having played in 111 consecutive games.

Eric Reid: Yes, concussions are a concern, but the free safety has missed only one game in his two-year career.

Jimmie Ward: Nickleback and 2014 first-round draft pick seeing more time at free safety while battling injury bug.

Jaquiski Tartt: Small-college stud among the hardest hitting players on the team as a rookie.

L.J. McCray: Made the team based on his special-teams play and yes, he, too, likes to hit people. Hard.


PK Phil Dawson: Looking to rebound from an 80.6 conversion rate on field-goal attempts, his lowest since 2006, in a contract year.

P Bradley Pinion: Rookie has a booming leg but must work on his consistency to make fans forget about Andy Lee.

LS Kyle Nelson: No drama at long-snapper this season, unlike last year, when Nelson surprisingly beat out Kevin McDermott.