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.
The 49ers defensive line returns it's two bedrocks in Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, but the team had significant turnover beyond those two. Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois departed in free agency, leaving the 49ers with depth needs. They signed Glenn Dorsey in free agency, then drafted Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial, and finally signed raw rookie Lawrence Okoye as an undrafted free agent.
While much is expected of the additions at one point or another (well, maybe not Okoye for a while), the 49ers return some young talent along the line. We already talked about defensive end Demarcus Dobbs and defensive tackle Will Tukuafu, leaving Tony Jerod-Eddie.
The 49ers signed TJE last offseason as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M. He was part of the team's final roster cuts at the end of training camp, then signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers. He spent the first 16 weeks of the regular season on the practice squad, before being activated for the final game when the 49ers placed Mario Manningham on injured reserve.
In that season finale against Arizona, TJE got in for ten of the final eleven defensive snaps after the 49ers went up 27-6. He set up station at right defensive tackle in the 49ers nickel, leaving the field for one snap when they went to a dime. In eight of his snaps he was held off by the offensive line. In one snap he got some push on the left guard, pushing him back a little bit. And on one other snap, he actually got pressure on Cardinals QB Brian Hoyer. On the play in question, Hoyer rolled to his right and TJE showed solid pursuit, getting a hit on him right after he threw an incompletion.
I did some searching for scouting reports on Jerod-Eddie and came across one from Walter Football, and another from Draft Insider. He's a guy with some solid size at 6'4, 305 pounds, but consistency seems to have been an issue in college. He can flash some athleticism, but nothing consistent. Here's what Draft Insider had to say:
Positive: Physically imposing defensive lineman who displays a lot of inconsistency in his game. Flashes athleticism on the field, gets down the line of scrimmage and shows the ability to quickly change direction. Works his hands throughout the action, keeps his feet moving on contact and possesses good initial power at the point of attack.
Negative: Does not consistently play at a high level and at times gets easily turned from the action by lesser opponents. Gets sloppy with his technique, plays tall at times and makes himself an easy target. Lumbering lineman with a marginal closing burst.
Analysis: Jerod-Eddie possesses next level size/speed numbers but was not overly productive in any facet of the game during his college career. He lacks a nasty attitude and displays limited consistency on the field. Jerod-Eddie possesses enough skill to get consideration on the offensive line but is a long shot to make it in the NFL.
What to expect in 2013
Tony Jerod-Eddie is a bit of a long-shot to make the roster, but given that the 49ers activated him after a wide receiver went down (as opposed to finding a receiver), that has to say a little something about the team's interest. If he does make the roster, he would have to show he can perform on special teams. If he made the roster, he would get some mop-up opportunities on defense, but once Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial are healthy, the opportunities grow limited. It would really be about his special teams duties.
Odds of making the roster
When I wrote about Will Tukuafu, I mentioned that I thought Dobbs and Tukuafu would be competing for a roster spot. In reality, it's probably Dobbs vs. Tukuafu vs. Jerod-Eddie. There are not a lot of opportunities with the recent additions along the line. However, one thing Jerod-Eddie has that the other guys do not is practice squad eligibility. I could very well see the 49ers attempt to slide TJE onto the practice squad once again.