The San Francisco 49ers have one of the strongest and deepest rosters in the NFL. This is a team that won the NFC West with a record of 11-4-1 and advanced through the playoffs, only to lose to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.
The 49ers came within five yards of a world championship and anything short of that this season will be considered a failure. This makes each job on the 49ers' 53-man roster extremely competitive. For a young player to make the team and contribute right away is quite an accomplishment.
More realistically, most rookies and second-year men who make the team will either see spot duty or play mostly on special teams.
The possible exception to this could be the 49ers' first-round draft pick Eric Reid. If he proves he can handle it, he will be a starting safety on the 49ers' defense.
In addition to the 53-man roster, each team has a practice squad where they can keep eight players.
The rules on who you can keep are rather circuitous, but the main idea is the player must first pass through waivers, then can be eligible for the practice squad. If another team claims the player, they must put him on their 53-man roster and pay him for at least three weeks.
Let's take a look at the eight 49ers who are strong candidates for the practice squad.
All stats courtesy of sports-reference.com.