San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart 2021: Predicting Week 1 offensive and defensive starters

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
Bethany Cohen

The San Francisco 49ers finished bottom of the NFC West in 2020 with an abysmal 6-10 record, a year after making the Super Bowl. With the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and the up-and-coming Arizona Cardinals all putting on a strong showing, the 49ers need to retool their roster this season.

Although rumors were swirling regarding quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo being traded, he still seems to still be the odds-on starter, with first-round draft pick Trey Lance right behind him in the pecking order.

With other additions to the offense and defense, the 49ers are looking to bounce back in 2021 and climb atop the NFC West.

San Francisco 49ers 2021 Depth Chart

Here's what the San Francisco 49ers' depth chart should look like entering Week 1:


Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, Josh Rosen, Nate Sudfeld

Running Back: Wayne Gallman II, Raheem Mostert, Trey Sermon, Elijah Mitchell

Wide Receiver: Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Mohamed Sanu

Tight End: George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley

Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk

Center: Alex Mack

Left Guard: Laken Tomlinson

Right Guard: Justin Skule, Aaron Banks

Left Tackle: Trent Williams, Jaylon Moore

Right Tackle: Mike McGlinchey


Linebacker: Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles

Defensive End: Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead

Defensive Tackle: Zach Kerr, Javon Kinlaw

Corner: Jason Verrett, Dontae Johnson

Free Safety: Jimmie Ward

Strong Safety: Jaquiski Tartt

Special Teams:

Kicker: Robbie Gould

Punter: Mitch Wishnowsky

Long Snapper: Taybor Pepper

Kick Retuner: Richie James

Punt Returner: River Cracraft

San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart Analysis


Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo should start the season as QB 1, barring any unforeseen issues. With Trey Lance as the backup and possible future quarterback for the team, there are also some veteran backups on the depth chart.

Running Back: The San Francisco 49ers signed former New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman this offseason. Gallman saw a significant amount of playing time in 2020 due to Saquon Barkley's knee injury.

Raheem Mostert will look to remain as the number one running back for the San Francisco 49ers, a spot he has continued to hold onto since signing with the team in 2016. The 49ers drafted two running backs in 2021: Ohio State's Trey Sermon in the third round and Elijah Mitchell out of Louisiana in the sixth round.

The San Francisco 49ers also have an option at fullback with Kyle Juszczyk, who is also a special teams option.

Wide Receiver: Brandon Aiyuk had an impressive rookie season after being thrown into the starter role much sooner than expected. Deebo Samuel re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers after a few years away from the team, playing with the Detroit Lions in 2020.

The San Francisco 49ers also signed Mohamed Sanu, who also played with the Lions in 2020. That wide receiver core should give Garoppolo (and Lance) a lot of options down the field.

Tight End: George Kittle is arguably one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and is the clear number one choice on the depth chart. With Kittle injured in 2020, Ross Dwelley saw a significant amount of playing time, more than he had in his previous two seasons.

Dwelley played in all sixteen games, starting nine games with a career-high nineteen receptions, 245 receiving yards and one touchdown. Dwelley is a solid second tight end for the 49ers offense.

Offensive Line: Pro Bowler Trent Williams, who is now the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history, leads one of the best offensive lines in the league. Fellow Pro Bowler Alex Mack, who played for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan with the Atlanta Falcons, will be the starting center.

The San Francisco 49ers added extra depth to the line with a second-round selection of Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks and tackle Jaylon Moore out of Louisiana with a fifth-round selection.

Also Check Out: 2021 NFL Depth Chart for all 32 teams


Linebacker: The linebackers are led by Fred Warner, a former third-round pick in 2018. Warner has become one of the better middle linebackers in the NFL over the last few seasons. Fre Greenlaw is the strongside linebacker and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles slots in as the weakside linebacker.

Defensive Line: Nick Bosa, the first-round pick in 2019 was named Rookie of the Year that season with an impressive nine sacks on the 49ers' route to the Super Bowl. Bosa tore his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, so 2021 will be a comeback season for Bosa.

Arik Armstead is the other defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers, who signed a five-year deal with the team in 2020. Armstead also missed a few weeks of play due to COVID-19.

At defensive tackle, the San Francisco 49ers will most likely start Zach Kerr and Javon Kinlaw. Kinlaw was the 49ers' first-round selection in 2020.

Corners: Jason Verrett and Dontae Johnson will line up at the corners for the San Francisco 49ers. Verrett has battled injuries the last few seasons but re-signed with the team this offseason.

Safety: Free safety Jimmie Ward signed with the San Francisco 49ers before the 2020 season. His best game of the campaign came against the Rams, when he had two forced fumbles that led to the 49ers' 23-20 victory. Jaquiski Tartt is the strong safety, another man who battled injuries in 2020, and re-signed with the 49ers on a one-year deal this offseason.

Special Teams

Robbie Gould has been the starting kicker for the San Francisco 49ers for the last four seasons. He is one of the most reliable kickers in the game. The San Francisco 49ers also have stability at punter with Mitch Wishnowsky, who will enter his third season with the team.

River Cracraft will take punt return duties while Richie James will take kick return duties.

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Edited by Colin D'Cunha


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