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.
As training camp begins the focus is not only on the return of padded practices and a chance to hear about your favorite free agent or draft acquisitions, but also on guys who need to carve out a roster spot in order to even survive the process. MarQueis (that's hard to type the first few times) Gray is one such player.
Gray was undrafted out of Minnesota where he played wide receiver and quarterback for the Gophers. In the NFL, the 49ers see him instead as a tight end; his 6'4" 250 lbs. size is a factor, not to mention there are already four QBs competing for what will likely end up being three spots on the roster.
But Gray is just the kind of athlete that Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke will like to find a way to utilize. Be it special teams or a position change, this sort of thing isn't new in San Francisco. Gray will have to shine in as many ways as possible in order to make a crowded roster.
What to expect in 2013
Should Gray make the roster it's likely that he'll need to be a core special teams player AND unseat one of the TEs currently vying for a spot. In that case I would expect him to be mostly a reserve player, perhaps not even dressing for the majority of games.
Odds of making the roster
They're slim, to be blunt. TE is a crowded position already and the 49ers return most of their special-teams guys from last season. Gray's best chance to stick is probably the practice squad where he can hone his skills as a true TE and wait for an opportunity to compete for a spot in 2014.