The San Francisco 49ers have a host of players on injured lists this season, leaving them with all sorts of potential talent for the 2014 season. The 2013 NFL Draft features several notable players expected to potentially red-shirt this season. The most notable was running back Marcus Lattimore, but defensive tackle Tank Carradine was another question mark.
Arguably the player flying most under the radar was offensive lineman Luke Marquardt. He signed as an undrafted free agent this past May, and spent the season on the Non-Football Injury List. He injured his foot prior to the start of last season. He was getting ready for the draft when he had to get another surgery on his foot.
The 49ers added him to their roster, and when the time came when they had to get the players out to practice, Marquardt was part of that group. He didn't end up actually practicing, but he got to observe and take part in basic walkthroughs. He was never activated off the NFI list, much like Marcus Lattimore, but he got a chance to take part in the sessions to some extent.
Wednesday afternoon, Marcus Lattimore sent out this tweet:
Proud of my bro @LukeMarquardt61 started running today after multiple foot injuries, sky's the limit God is good!!— Marcus Lattimore (@MarcusLattimore) December 20, 2013
Marquardt followed up with this tweet:
@MarcusLattimore thanks brother, I'm inspired from watching you!— Luke Marquardt (@LukeMarquardt61) December 20, 2013
As an undrafted free agent, Marquardt is much like a lottery ticket for the 49ers. Lattimore is a lottery ticket to some extnt, but Marquardt is even more so. Lattimore is the most likely to hit, Marquardt is pretty far down behind him, and Lawrence Okoye is even further down.
Marquardt played at Division II Azusa Pacific, so there is a noticeable step up in competition. D-II players have made that step up, but it's not so simple as to make the assumption he'll make that step. However, once his foot is 100 percent, he'll be able to take part in the offseason workout program and get ready for training camp. It will be fascinating to see what he brings to the table next August in training camp.
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