The 49ers have no made an official roster move yet (or at least as of the publishing time) but word from the practice squad was that Joe Hastings was going to get Braylon Edwards' roster spot. Hastings was signed by the 49ers this offseason as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II Washburn. He was waived at the end of training camp but signed with the 49ers practice squad once he cleared waivers.
Although player in a lower level of competition does not automatically mean accomplishments should be diminished, it does meant it is a bit more difficult to come up with scouting reports. I did some poking around and have a few bits of information. I found a couple scouting reports, although neither is from sites I generally read, so feel free to take them with a grain of salt. Additionally, Matt Barrows had some comments about Hastings when the 49ers signed him to their practice squad. At the end of the post, I've got a video Riding the F Train posted as a FanShot.
It's worth noting that Eric Branch indicated a source told him the 49ers told at least one former NFL wide receiver "they might be in touch after the regular season depending on how their in-house receiver ... fares against the Rams."
Alex Smith chatted with the media before practice yesterday and he was asked several questions about Hastings given the information tweeted by MM. Alex does a ton of throwing before and during games on the sidelines and Hastings is one of the guys who is frequently involved. That's not quite the same thing as running routes, but it is still noteworthy.
Is there already some kind of chemistry there?
"I feel good about Joe. Joe's a guy that just works extremely hard. Obviously had him here all through camp and then when he's got his chances throughout the season just to jump in in reps in practice, does it. For quite a few weeks now pregame, to keep the other guys' legs good, he and I go out early and throw quite a bit. So, feel good about Joe. I think that if that's the way the direction ends up going, feel good about him stepping up and that he'll be ready."
The 49ers practice squad has traveled with the team and been prominently involved throughout the season, which is different from years past. I don't know if that will necessarily make a significant difference in terms of Hastings contributing to the team, but it's noteworthy nonetheless.
The former Washburn receiver wasn't as big as fellow undrafted rookie Chris Hogan nor as fast as Tyler Beiler. But he was quick, ran excellent routes and was not slowed by injuries like Hogan and Dontavia Bogan. Hastings often challenged the first-team defense in practice, which will be his main role this season.
He's 6'0, 190 pounds and lacks blazing 4.3 speed so nobody is giving him much of a chance but Hastings runs good routes and has great hands. His trademark this year was making circus catches and he showed that in the Cactus Bowl. He's has several teams call about him and is a player who warrants some late round consideration because his hands should keep him around when teams make final cuts. You simply find a roster spot for a guy like this.
A high performer at a low-level college division - Hastings had 87 receptions and 1,546 yards last season. Hastings has decent WR skills, but measured weaker for physical skills translating to the NFL. Hastings tested with good speed, OK agility, with a lower bench press/strength.