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.
We're coming down the final stretch of the 90-in-90 series, and we still have a mix of players from across the roster. Today, we take a look at linebacker Nate Stupar, who is battling for a special teams role and possibly reserve work at inside linebacker. We've gone through a variety of inside linebackers thus far, and it is a tough competition for Stupar.
Stupar entered the NFL as a 2012 seventh round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders. After cutting Stupar at the end of camp, the Raiders signed him to their practice squad. They released him in early September, and he subsequently signed with the Eagles practice squad in mid-November. He spent the rest of the regular season on the Eagles practice squad, and then signed with the 49ers at the start of the playoffs. After the season, the 49ers signed him to a reserve/future contract.
There are a few scouting reports about Stupar floating around the Internet. Check out these reports from Pro Football Weekly, NE Patriots Draft and Gino's Draft Talk. ESPN has one as well, but it's behind a pay wall.
Stupar spent much of his college career on special teams, before joining the starting defense after an injury opened up a spot. The reports all like his instincts, but view him as lacking in top-end speed. It sounds like he is better in run defense than in pass coverage, and comes across as more of a 4-3 linebacker than 3-4 type.
What to expect in 2013
Stupar faces tough odds to make the roster, but if he does make the team, it would be in an almost exclusively special teams role. This is a running theme for most of the linebackers on this team since the starting four are moderately adequate at their jobs. If Stupar made the team, I could see him becoming a special teams staple.
Odds of making the roster
The odds are not good. He is competing against guys like Dan Skuta, Nick Moody, Darius Fleming and Michael Wilhoite, among others. The 49ers loaded up on special teams players, and it will be as tough a competition as any during training camp. Given that Stupar has some practice squad eligibility, it's entirely possible he ends up on the practice squad for some or all of this season.