The San Francisco 49ers brought in rugby player Jarryd Hayne for a visit on Monday, according to Aaron Wilson. The Australian rugby player was named player of the year in 2014, and apparently is considered one of the best rugby players in the world. If any of you are rugby fans, feel free to fill us in on Hayne's background.
Hayne gave up rugby in October to pursue a career in the NFL. He has been working out in Southern California, and reportedly has several teams interested in his services. The Detroit Lions might be checking him out based on the recommendation of Reggie Bush, and he apparently toured the Seattle Seahawks facility back in October. Hayne apparently stands 6-2, and weighs around 225 pounds. There is some talk he sees himself as a kick returner, although Wilson's article mentioned that he could potentially be tried out as a running back.
The 49ers are currently working with former British Olympian Lawrence Okoye to try and develop him into an NFL-caliber defensive lineman. He spent the 2013 season on injured reserve, and the 2014 season on the practice squad. He seemed to make some progress during training camp and the preseason this year, but his future is murky. He has the size and athleticism to play football, but there is so much more to it than size and athleticism.
And so, the 49ers could be looking to bring in another long-term project. Basic return skills could provide some quick early value for Hayne, but if he wants to try his hand at running back, that would certainly take a good deal more time.