Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the San Francisco 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.
The San Francisco 49ers head into training camp with Jonathan Goodwin just about locked in at center, with Daniel Kilgore as his primary backup. Joe Looney has reportedly gotten some center snaps in practice over the last year as well, but the center position is about as entrenched as they get.
In spite of all that, the 49ers will never stop looking for competition at each position. Even though Goodwin is a virtual lock to handle the center duties, and Daniel Kilgore is just as much a lock as a backup, they've brought in some camp competition in the form of undrafted free agent Sherman Carter.
The 49ers signed Carter out of Tennessee State, shortly after the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not partake in the Combine, but did get measured in at his Pro Day. He stands 6'2 and weights 304 pounds, while running a 5.45 40. That's not exactly fast for an athlete, but it'd still kick my butt.
Carter played in 42 games at Tennessee State, making 33 starts in his final three seasons. He earned First-Team Ohio Valley Conference honors in 2012, and Second-Team All-OVC honors in 2011.
I did a quick search of some scouting reports, and of course, give his size, some folks think he has that necessary "NFL body". Draft Insider described him as a guy who needs to improve his blocking balance and learn to not overextend into defenders. They think he has sufficient strength, so it would seem this is as much about improving his technique as anything. And of course dealing with elite defensive linemen and linebackers. You can read some of Carter's own thoughts in this interview.
What to expect in 2013
Carter's best chance to stick with the 49ers is on the practice squad. The odds of him beating out one of the other interior linemen seems somewhere between slim and none. The 49ers have been known to keep guys on the roster that spend the season inactive, but with Kilgore and Looney already providing interior depth, it just won't happen this year.
Odds of making the roster
Really this is about his odds of making the practice squad. This will come down to how the 49ers value his long-term future. He should get some snaps at center during the preseason, but it will be fairly limited with the team likely working in Joe Looney to the center rotation to some extent. I'd say even his practice squad chances are fairly limited, even with a decent preseason showing.