49ers undrafted free agents: Potential diamonds in the rough

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The 49ers have signed some intriguing talent in 2013 undrafted free agency. Will there be a diamond in the rough? There are some intriguing names on the list.

The San Francisco 49ers have been connected to a variety of undrafted free agents over the last week, and with rookie minicamp less than a week away, the team will be locking them up shortly. Matt Maiocco is reporting that eleven UDFAs have signed, and while the 49ers have not sent out the official press release, I imagine the contracts are signed and being processed through the league office. The players signed, according to Maiocco, include:

C Sherman Carter (Tennessee State)
FB Alex Debniak (Stanford)
RB MarQueis Gray (Minnesota)
OT Luke Marquardt (Azusa Pacific)
LS Kevin McDermott (UCLA)
DB Darryl Morris (Texas State)
DE Lawrence Okoye (England)
G Patrick Omameh (Michigan)
NT Mike Purcell (Wyoming)
DB Lowell Rose (Tulsa)
P Anthony Santella (Illinois)

As soon as the draft is over, we start to hear about the best undrafted free agent signings. The folks at SI.com took a crack at this kind of list, and they included the 49ers' work. They referenced the high profile Lawrence Okoye signing, but they went into more detail over another signing:

Luke Marquardt, OT, Azusa Pacific - San Francisco 49ers: A bit of a poor man's Lane Johnson, Marquardt was a high school quarterback and was recruited as a tight end before shifting to tackle. He stands 6-8 and 315 - a combination that's especially appealing because Marquardt could pile on some pounds. Marquardt will need plenty of time to develop, but the 49ers have the luxury of waiting.

Over the next three months we'll be breaking down all the 49ers undrafted free agents, so we'll have more details on each of the players. For now, enthusiasm is high surrounding Marquardt. We all have our brands of optimism, and for me it is about finding that diamond in the rough.

Marquardt has the size to eventually work his way in as an offensive tackle, and one could see him as a potential semi- long term swing tackle option. Of course, he is making a sizable leap, jumping from Division II Azusa Pacific to the NFL. He dominated in college, and it will be interesting to see how his talents translate against the best of the best. When the preseason gets going, he's a guy I imagine we'll see in the fourth quarter early on. His playing time (both volume and when in the game it happens) will give us a sense of what the team thinks of him. Even just playing in the fourth quarter is a step up in competition, so there is not necessarily a rush to get him up the depth chart.

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