49ers Players Who Need Impressive Camp to Avoid Being Cut

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 12, 2021

49ers Players Who Need Impressive Camp to Avoid Being Cut

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    As the start of training camp nears, it's time to look at some of the position battles that will be taking place on the San Francisco 49ers roster. Players will be aiming to secure jobs, and for some, they may be on the bubble and need to prove they are worthy of making the 53-man roster.

    That's why this is an important time of year. And the competition will only heat up when the 49ers report to training camp on July 27 in Santa Clara, California.

    Not everybody in camp is going to make the team. Some of them know that they will need to have strong showings if they do not want to be looking to secure another job before the 2021 season.

    Here's a look at three players who could be in danger of being cut during camp.

Josh Rosen, QB

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    Josie Lepe/Associated Press

    Josh Rosen's career hasn't turned out as some expected it to after he was taken by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The quarterback is now on his third organization, and he hasn't gotten any action in a regular-season game since the first half of the 2019 campaign.

    There's no chance that Rosen will be San Francisco's starting quarterback, a role that will either go to Jimmy Garoppolo or rookie Trey Lance. Instead, Rosen will be battling with Nate Sudfeld to see who will be the third signal-caller on the roster in 2021.

    Although Rosen is a former first-round pick, Sudfeld played for the Philadelphia Eagles in their Week 17 loss to Washington last season, so the 27-year-old has more recent experience. But Rosen has been with the 49ers since December, meaning he should be more familiar with their offense.

    Regardless, if Rosen doesn't perform well during camp, he could be on the move again. He will need to show that he can provide valuable depth and be ready to go in case San Francisco has to go deep down the depth chart at some point during the upcoming season.

Wayne Gallman II, RB

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    Larry Maurer/Associated Press

    The 49ers are going to have a crowded running back room at the start of camp. They have brought back Raheem Mostert, JaMycal Hasty and Jeff Wilson Jr.,who is recovering from a torn meniscus. They selected Trey Sermon (third round) and Elijah Mitchell (sixth round) in the 2021 NFL draft. And they also signed Wayne Gallman II during free agency.

    San Francisco is likely going to split carries between numerous backs, but it's probably not going to have five of them on its roster. Gallman was signed before the 49ers drafted Sermon and Mitchell, so there's going to be more competition for the 26-year-old than originally expected.

    Gallman is coming off the best season of his four-year NFL career, having rushed for 682 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games with the New York Giants in 2020. But he's only signed to a one-year, $850,000 deal with the 49ers, so he needs to prove himself this preseason.

    Mostert and Sermon should be roster locks. If Gallman hopes to make the team, he will likely have to show that he's more deserving than either Mitchell or Hasty (Wilson will still be recovering when the season begins).

    If Gallman doesn't have a strong showing, then he is a candidate to get cut.

Kentavius Street, DL

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Street played 15 games and made two starts for the 49ers last season. Yet it's not a sure thing that he will be on the team's roster in 2021. San Francisco has greatly improved its depth along the defensive line during the offseason.

    The 49ers signed Zach Kerr, Arden Key, D.J. Jones and Maurice Hurst during free agency, as well as Jordan Willis, who is suspended for six games for violating the NFL's policy for performance-enhancing substances. Still, there's going to be a ton of competition for roster spots among this position group.

    Street, who was drafted by San Francisco in the fourth round in 2018, is only 25, so he has the potential to keep improving. He stayed healthy and gained experience in 2020 after dealing with injuries earlier in his career.

    But if Street doesn't stand out and other defensive linemen do, it's possible he could be left off the roster in favor of some of these new additions. So it will be important for Street to prove himself and show that he can build off last season.