Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.
I drew the long straw today, it seems, because I get to write about a player the 49ers employ and do so with absolute certainty in terms of what 2013 will bring for him. The reason I say this? Because FB Alex Debniak was waived/injured by the 49ers a few days back and went unclaimed, thus reverting to Injured Reserve classification. In case you missed it, the 49ers waived Debniak because he suffered a torn Achilles.
It may have been a long shot for Debniak to make the squad, according to some, because Bruce Miller is entrenched as the starting FB. I say that there could be an opening for someone due to Anthony Dixon's spot potentially being in jeopardy if he's out-shined on special teams by someone like Nick Moody (or Debniak had he stayed healthy) for instance. Neither is going to challenge for a starting role and both would primarily be on the squad for special teams, but there are only so many of those guys you can keep.
So perhaps Debniak could have won a roster spot with a combo of special teams and showing some promise as a backup FB. Fact is at this point, we'll never know ... at least not as it pertains to 2013.
Debniak (6'2", 240 lbs) began his career at Stanford as an outside linebacker, recording 52 tackles and five sacks in his final three seasons. The 49ers however saw him as a fullback, which isn't surprising, considering the aforementioned Miller made a similar transition from (DE projected to be OLB in a 3-4) to FB upon joining the 49ers.
Debniak's redshirt senior season was highlighted by sacks of Oregon State's Cody Vaz (knocking the latter out of the game) as well as one against California in the "Big Game". He was a key contributor on special teams, starting on four units and forcing a fumble on a kickoff against Washington State.
What to expect in 2013
I think you can expect to see Debniak on the sideline, cheering on his 49ers as they steamroll competition week in and week out. You can expect him to be in the film room and at practice watching, taking mental reps, and preparing himself for the 2014 offseason.
Odds of making the roster
Well, he 100% won't make the 53-man roster. That ship has sailed. But he is with the team, can't play for anyone in 2013 and has a chance to return and compete for a spot next year.