San Francisco 49ers football for dummies
SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers trimmed their roster to 53 players Saturday.
One player, Aaron Lynch, was placed on the reserve/suspended list as a result of his four-game suspension. Another, receiver DeAndre Smelter, was waived/injured after struggling with a hamstring strain during the spring and summer. A third, safety L.J. McCray, was traded to the Seahawks.
The following players were released:
* OLB Marcus Rush. He led the NFL with six sacks in the preseason but did not make the team’s initial roster. Rush, a second-year player, spent last season on the practice squad. Rush and fellow 2015 practice squadder Garrison Smith (see below) were the pleasant surprises of the 2016 preseason for San Francisco. The 49ers will go into the season with Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold and Tank Carradine at outside linebacker. Ronald Blair also can play there. Lynch will be back in Week 5.
* QB Jeff Driskel. The 49ers waived Driskel, a sixth-round pick who could wind up on the 49ers’ practice squad on Sunday. Driskel had received snaps with the second-team offense when Colin Kaepernick was hurt last month but was leapfrogged by late signee Christian Ponder for a roster spot.
* OLB Corey Lemonier. Lemonier, a third-round pick in 2014, had played in 42 games since then, but registered only one sack, which came in his rookie year.
* NT Garrison Smith. The 49ers waived nose tackle Garrison Smith, who had a standout performance against the Broncos in the second preseason game. Pro Football Focus gave Smith, a second-year player, the highest grade among defensive tackles in the NFL during the preseason. Smith had 15 tackles -- the most of any 49ers lineman -- and two sacks in the four games. He is eligible for the practice squad. The 49ers have just one true nose tackle on the roster in Mike Purcell. Glenn Dorsey still is returning from a knee injury while Quinton Dial’s most natural spot is defensive end.
* RB DuJuan Harris. He was signed late last season when the 49ers ran into injury issues at running back and perhaps would be available if something similar happened this year.
* WR DeAndrew White. He spent time on both the practice squad and active roster last year. He also returns punts, a role that likely will go to Jeremy Kerley this season. He is eligible for the practice squad.
* RB Kelvin Taylor. Taylor, a sixth-round pick and the son of former Jaguars tailback Fred Taylor. He had been behind Carlos Hyde, Shaun Draughn, Mike Davis and Harris on the depth chart. Taylor is likely to make the practice squad if he goes unclaimed.
* LB Shayne Skov. The 49ers released Skov, who has been part of their practice the last two seasons. Skov had been playing with the third-team defense. He played every defensive snap in the team’s preseason finale.
* WR Dres Anderson. The second-year player was the best outside receiver among a group of young wideouts hoping to make a splash. He has a good chance of landing on the practice squad.
* C Alex Balducci. He played nose tackle at Oregon for Kelly and defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro. He switched to center this offseason and is a candidate for the practice squad.
* OL Fahn Cooper. A fifth-round selection, Cooper is the highest 2016 draft pick -- Taylor and Prince Charles Iworah are the others -- the 49ers released. Cooper played both guard and tackle this offseason.
* CB Prince Charles Iworah. He was the team’s final draft pick this year.
* OT Colin Kelly. The 49ers released Kelly, who played in the CFL last year and who started Thursday’s game at left tackle. Kelly also played center at times in training camp. He is eligible for the practice squad.
* WR Bryce Treggs. The former Cal receiver had a good shot at making the 53-man roster but hurt his knee in the second preseason game. He could be added to the practice squad later this year.
* WR Devon Cajuste. Cajuste, an undrafted receiver from Stanford, has been waived. He could land on the practice squad.
* DL Demetrius Cherry. The team waived Cherry, an undrafted free agent from Arizona State. He has the height -- 6-6 -- the 49ers like at the position and is a possibility for the practice squad.
* TE Je’Ron Hamm. Hamm, who was added to the practice squad last season, was in a reserve role behind Garrett Celek and Vance McDonald this offseason. The 49ers kept four tight ends, Celek, McDonald, Blake Bell and Bruce Miller.
* DL B.J. McBryde. The 49ers signed McBryde just before the start of training camp. He was buried on a deep and young defensive line.
* OL Norman Price. An undrafted rookie, Price had been playing left tackle with the third-string offensive line.
* WR Ryan Whalen. Whalen, a former Stanford receiver, was added late in training camp after the team suffered injuries at receiver.
Per NFL Network, former 49ers guard Brandon Thomas was released by the Lions Saturday. Detroit sent receiver Jeremy Kerley to the 49ers in exchange for Thomas, a 2014 third-round pick, last week. Meanwhile, ESPN reported that another former 49ers offensive lineman, Ian Silberman, worked out for the Jets.