The 49ers’ offseason overhaul has spared most of former general manager Trent Baalke’s draft picks.

Of the 31 Baalke draft selections GM John Lynch inherited when he was hired in January, 27 remain on the roster. The 49ers didn’t re-sign free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick and wide receiver Quinton Patton, and they released center Marcus Martin and running back Mike Davis.

But that doesn’t mean Baalke’s other hand-picked players should breathe easily. He was fired partly because he selected too many players who failed to meet expectations and many will be released when the 49ers pare their 90-man offseason roster to 53 before the regular season.

In this projection, which will include a 2.0 edition when more clarity is achieved during training camp, 10 of Baalke’s past picks will be cut: WRs Bruce Ellington, Aaron Burbridge and DeAndre Smelter; TEs Vance McDonald and Blake Bell, DTs Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair; OT John Theus and OLB Eli Harold and CB Prince Charles Iworah.

Meanwhile, the 49ers will retain nine of their 10 picks from Lynch’s first draft and two undrafted rookies, meaning 21 percent of their roster will consist of first-year players:


QB (3): Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, C.J. Beathard (R)

CUT: Nick Mullens (UR)

Analysis: This is straightforward. Hoyer is the unquestioned starter and Barkley was clearly the second-best QB during the offseason program. Beathard is a third-round project who, the 49ers hope, won’t need to take a regular-season snap in 2017.

RB (4): Carlos Hyde, Joe Williams (R), Tim Hightower, Matt Breida (UR)

OUT: Kapri Bibbs, Raheem Mostert

Analysis: Breida figures to battle Bibbs for a roster spot. Bibbs was acquired in a draft trade with Denver, but he’s a former undrafted rookie with a 29 career carries who reportedly wasn’t going to make the Broncos’ roster. Breida should beat him out with a solid summer.

FB (1): Kyle Juszczyk

CUT: Tyler McCloskey (UR)

Analysis: Given his variety of anticipated roles, an injury to the uniquely skilled Juszczyk (A.K.A. Offensive Weapon) could dramatically alter the 49ers’ offense.

WR (5): Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Jermey Kerley, Trent Taylor (R), Aldrick Robinson

CUT: Victor Bolden Jr., Kendrick Bourne, Aaron Burbridge, DeAndre Carter, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Smelter, BJ Johnson III

Analysis: They could keep six wide receivers, but is anyone on the cut list worthy of a NFL roster spot? If Ellington could stay healthy, he’d qualify as roster-worthy, but the 49ers aren’t keeping three slot WRs. They gave Kerley a contract extension before free agency and Taylor was Kyle Shanahan’s draft darling.

TE (3): George Kittle (R), Logan Paulsen, Cole Hikutini (UR)

CUT: Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Blake Bell

Analysis: Out with the old; in with two rookies and a free-agent signee. This summer, on-the-trade-block McDonald might need to resemble Mike Ditka – the legend Jim Harbaugh unwisely likened him to during the 2013 draft – to stay in Santa Clara. Celek will battle Paulsen, another dependable, no-frills blocking TE, for a roster spot, although it wouldn’t be a shock if they kept four at this poistion.

OL (8): T Joe Staley, T Trent Brown, C/G Jermey Zuttah, G Zane Beadles, G Joshua Garnett, T Garry Gilliam, C/G Daniel Kilgore, G Brandon Fusco

CUT: Tim Barnes, John Flynn (UR), Andrew Lauderdale (UR), Richard Levy (UR), Erik Magnuson (UR), Norman Price, John Theus, Darrell Williams (UR)

Analysis: Zuttah missed most of the offseason program with a hamstring injury, but it would be a surprise if he isn’t the starting center after he was acquired in a trade with the Ravens. Kilgore will need to beat out Barnes to log a seventh season with the 49ers.


DL (7): Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas (R), DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, Quinton Dial, D.J. Jones (R), Chris Jones

CUT: Tank Carradine, Ronald Blair, Noble Nwachukwu (UR)

Analysis: This will mark the end of the road for Carradine, a 2013 second-round pick who has four sacks in his 49ers’ tenure. Blair, a 2016 fifth-round pick, showed a few flashes as a rookie, but the new regime will move on.

OLB (5): Elvis Dumervil, Ahmad Brooks, Aaron Lynch, Dekoda Watson, Pita Taumoepenu (R)

CUT: Eli Harold, Jimmie Gilbert (UR)

Analysis: Harold figures to be in a fight with Taumoepenu, a raw sixth-round pick. Harold, a 2015 third-round pick with three sacks, has been underwhelming, but he figures to be finally healthy after offseason toe surgery to correct an issue that dated to high school. Lynch has undeniable ability, but isn’t a roster lock after a 2016 season in which he served a four-game suspension for a failed drug test and reported for training camp around 300 pounds.

ILB (5): NaVorro Bowman, Reuben Foster (R), Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle, Ray-Ray Armstrong

CUT: Donavin Newsom (UR)

Analysis: Coyle may not play on defense, but will assume a role as a special-teams ace. The drama here will be on who will assume the two starting spots between Bowman, Foster and Smith. My bet: Bowman and Foster.

CB (6): Rashard Robinson, Keith Reaser, Ahkello Witherspoon (R), Dontae Johnson, Will Redmond, K’Waun Williams

CUT: Adrian Colbert (R), Will Davis, Zach Franklin (UR), Prince Charles Iworah

Analysis: In this projection, Colbert, a seventh-round selection, will be the only draft pick to not make the 53-man roster. Davis, who was signed in June, could make a push, but has two torn ACLs since 2014 and didn’t play in the NFL after the Ravens released him in November. Robinson is the only slam-dunk starter here. Witherspoon, a third-round pick, will compete with Baalke draft picks (Reaser and Johnson) for the other outside spot. Williams, who has a long history with secondary coach Jeff Hafley, will tussle for the nickel role with Redmond.

S (3): Eric Reid, Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt

CUT: Lorenzo Jerome (UR), Vinnie Sunseri, Don Jones, Chanceller James (UR)

Analysis: Jerome has a real chance to make the 53-man roster, but the INT machine doesn’t have ideal size or speed and is making the jump from St. Francis University.

Specialists (3): K Robbie Gould; P Bradley Pinion; LS Kyle Nelson

CUT: K Nick Rose.

Analysis: Nailed it.

R: Rookie draft pick

UR: Undrafted rookie

Twitter: @Eric_Branch

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