Many of the 49er undrafted free agents are not going to make it to the 53 man roster, especially considering this season NFL teams were "forced" to sign more than in previous seasons.
That said, you are going to find gems in every undrafted class, it just works out that way. Some of the time you will find a nice depth player like Tony Wragge. Other times you might hit gold and grab a Jeff Garcia well after the fact. Today's focus on going to be on the undervalued Chase Beeler out of Stanford.
A little while back Tre9er was kind enough to put together a post that mentioned Chase Beeler as a possible backup for the San Francisco 49ers. In that post he mentioned the fact that Beeler had been working with the 49ers in "Camp Alex"
Beeler seems poised to sign a free agent contract with the 49ers and be reunited with his former college coaching staff, once the lockout is lifted and a new CBA is in place. I think this is a great option for the position and I sincerely hope that Beeler can fight for the backup spot. At least he has recent experience playing center - at an All-American level to boot.
There were a nice amount of speculation that Beeler would end up with the 49ers towards the back end of April's draft. A lot of that had to do with his relationship with Harbaugh at Stanford. But, some of it had to do with the possibility that he was just a pretty darn good football player.
Snaps and steps quickly in the run game, quickly firing off the football and getting on top of opposing defensive linemen inside. However, fails to consistently get his hands up initially into blocks and can be easily shed on contact. Keeps his base down and tries to gain initial leverage on contact, but isn't a real velcro player, lacks ideal upper body strength and can be easily disengaged from at the point
Beeler is an undersized interior lineman standing at 293 pounds and lack upper body strength. However, he is a Stanford educated individual and knows he must bulk up in order to make it at the next level. It will be interesting to see what he weighs in at when camp starts.
From what I have ascertained in regards to scouting reports and watching some film is that he does have a real solid technique, which is probably a benefit in playing in Harbaugh's system. Beeler is able to meet the defender at the line after snapping the ball and is pretty quick in the motion from snap to protection. Those are two invaluable skills that every productive center needs.
The 49ers are in desperate need of depth at the center position with David Baas being a free agent and Eric Heitmann lost for the season. At the very least, Beeler could be a practice squad player that will be able to meet the physical demands in the future. Best case scenario is him coming in and impressing like he did every season at Stanford and competing for a roster spot. I fully expect Beeler to be an extremely strong center in the NFL, it just might take a little bit of time for that to happen.
Overall, Chase Beeler was an extremely strong pickup for the 49ers. Notice how Beeler blew up the USC defender at about 1:10 of the video.
Chase Beeler Stanford Video (via Conuficus)