The San Francisco 49ers have begun signing undrafted free agents, and while the team will probably not make the names official for at least a couple days, we can start to break down what we know.
Fooch's Update #2: I have no idea what's up as far as the 90-man roster is concerned. 49ers had 4 spots after the draft, and they now have reportedly signed as many as 7 UDFAs. The 4 detailed below, Skov, and New Mexico center Dillon Farrell and Michigan State offensive tackle Fou Fonoti.
Fooch's update: This has gotten a little confusing as now Shayne Skov is saying he is joining the 49ers. He would be UDFA No. 5. After the draft, the 49ers had 86 players signed, drafted or acquired via trade. I'm not sure what the deal is now.
Don't know where the whole Oakland thing came from... But I'm headed to the 49ers, gunna make my mark in this league before it's all over— Gojira ゴジラ Skov (@ShayneSkov) May 11, 2014
For now though, here are thoughts on the other four. I'll add Skov once this is confirmed.
Kory Faulkner, QB, Southern Illinois
The Salukis' quarterback spent five years at the university, red-shirting as a freshman, and attempting two passes as a red-shirt freshman. Over the last three seasons, Faulkner completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 5,339 yards, 34 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. In his final season, he threw for 1,997 yards with 18 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, while missing three games with a fractured finger. He also suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder in Week 3, but returned the following week.
Faulkner stands 6'3, 229 pounds. He did not take part in the Combine, but did make an appearance at the Northwestern Pro Day. He ran a 4.70 40, and put up 19 reps on the bench press. The Northwestern Pro Day was notable because 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was in attendance. He threw the football around with Jimmy Garoppolo (pictures), and one has to wonder if he had some time to interact with Faulkner. After the Pro Day, Faulkner spoke with the St. Genevieve Herald, and said he spoke with 12 teams. He did not reference the 49ers.
This is the only scouting report I could find:
Best Pro Comparison: Raw version of Drew Stanton with more upside
He has all of the physical tools necessary to succeed, but is too raw to expect success. Faulkner was also not the most efficient quarterback at Southern Illinois and that inefficiency will only be amplified at the next level. I know that there is a Tony Romo every now and then, but saying Faulkner has a shot to be Romo is like saying you have a shot to win the Lotto. There is a chance he can learn quickly and develop faster than about every other quarterback who enters the NFL, but it’s slim. A practice squad member is the most likely outcome unfortunately.
He'll compete with McLeod Bethel-Thompson for the No. 3 QB spot. I figured the 49ers would draft a quarterback, but even then they still were likely to remain behind Gabbert. The 49ers third QB spot will depend entirely on how the team feels about Gabbert. If they're comfortable with him, maybe they save a roster spot by placing a guy like Faulkner on the practice squad. For 2014, that is probably Faulkner's upside.
Morgan Breslin, DE/OLB, USC
The 49ers had Breslin in for their local Pro Day, as he is from the Bay area originally. He dealt with a hip injury and hernia surgery, and only played five games this past season. He was not invited to the Combine, which got him on the list of some of the bigger snubs for the event. At his Pro Day, he measured in at 6'1, 240 pounds. He ran a 4.60 40.
I have not seen a specific arm measurement, but scouting reports are saying he has short arms. That is not ideal, but he still sounds like a guy who can do some great work getting to the quarterback. He played outside linebacker when USC switched to a 3-4, but he'll still likely need to put on some weight at the NFL level.
Breslin only played five games last season, but he still managed 4.5 sacks, and he finished with 17.5 sacks in 18 games at USC. His size and strength are an issue, but if he focuses on situational pass rush work, he could be an asset:
Considering that Breslin's ability to rush the quarterback has been his greatest asset as an NFL prospect, the hip and ankle injuries could very well cause NFL teams to hesitate in the first three rounds, which is where his tape indicated he could have been selected. If he's able to fully rebound with no lingering effects, he could end up a mid-to-late round steal.
If Breslin is in fact going to settle in at outside linebacker (as opposed to potentially moving inside to inside linebacker), he will compete with Corey Lemonier, Dan Skuta, and fellow rookie Aaron Lynch. The 49ers are awaiting word on Aldon Smith's status for the 2014 season. There are rumblings of a potential suspension, and if he ends up missing 4-8 games, a strong showing from Breslin could get him a roster spot for at least some portion of the 2014 season.
L.J. McCray, S, Catawba College
McCray is a safety, but his best chance to make the roster would appear to be in a special teams role. He made an appearance at the Wake Forest Pro Day, where he measured in at 5'11, 210 pounds, ran a 4.46 40, had a 41 inch vertical, and did 24 reps on the bench press. Here is the most extensive article I found about him. He previously played cornerback before moving to safety.
However, his best work at Catawba, for the 49ers purposes, was as a kick returner. In 2013, he had 21 returns for 477 yards. Catawba plays at the Division II level, and is in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Asante Cleveland, TE, Miami, Fl
The 49ers brought back another local product in Miami, Fl tight end Asante Cleveland (from Sacramento). He measured in at the Miami Pro Day at 6'4, 261 pounds. He ran a 4.88 40, and put 20 reps on the bench press. Over the course of four seasons, he caught 14 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown. Based on this, he is either expected to be nothing more than a blocking tight end, or very raw project. We'll see what camp brings.