The San Francisco 49ers are one player away from locking up their 2014 NFL Draft class. The team announced on Tuesday that they have signed fourth round pick Bruce Ellington to a 4-year contract. Third round pick Marcus Martin remains the only un-signed rookie. I suspect we'll see Martin get locked up before too long.
Here is an estimate of Bruce Ellington's contract, courtesy of Over The Cap. They’ve been pretty spot on with the rookie pool estimates, but if there are any differences when others leak out the numbers, we'll update accordingly.
Signing Bonus: $474,428
2014 Base: $420,000
2015 Base: $510,000
2016 Base: $600,000
2017 Base: $690,000
Ellington joins a 49ers wide receiver corps that is as deep as it has been in years. Last year, we were hoping to see an improve group of receivers with the addition of Anquan Boldin. Unfortunately, Michael Crabtree's Achilles tear cut that short for much of the season. We saw improvements when Crabtree returned, but we did not get a full season of it. This year, the 49ers head into OTAs with a ridiculously deep group of receivers. Boldin and Crabtree are in the house, the team added Stevie Johnson, fourth round pick Quinton Patton has a year under his belt, and they've now added speedy Bruce Ellington. And let's not forget they will go to camp with Brandon Lloyd and Jon Baldwin competing for roster spots. Heck, even Chuck Jacobs showed some things last August.
What does this mean for Ellington? It will be a tough competition from the get-go, and even if he gains the expected roster spot, it will be interesting to see how many targets he gets. His best chance for significant rookie playing time could very well be if he can take control of the kick and punt return jobs. LaMichael James is currently No. 1 on the depth chart, but look for Ellington to get plenty of chances for the jobs.
As we should know by now, there is no fifth year option for non-first round picks. However, picks in rounds three through seven can earn the proven performance escalator. Bruce Miller and Chris Culliver both qualified for the PPE, which resulted in a bump in their respective 2014 salaries.
Here's the 49ers full 2014 draft class and their signing statuses:
49ers 2014 draft class
1 (30). Jimmie Ward, DB, Northern Illinois - SIGNED
2 (57). Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State - SIGNED
3 (70). Marcus Martin, C, USC
3 (77). Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin - SIGNED
3 (100). Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson - SIGNED
4 (106). Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina - SIGNED
4 (129). Dontae Johnson, CB, NC State - SIGNED
5 (150). Aaron Lynch, DE/OLB, South Florida - SIGNED
5 (170). Keith Reaser, CB, Florida Atlantic - SIGNED
6 (180). Kenneth Acker, CB, SMU - SIGNED
7 (243). Kaleb Ramsey, DE, Boston College - SIGNED
7 (245). Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma - SIGNED