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49ers roster, 90-in-90 breakdowns: Devon Wylie

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days or in however long we feel like it). Today we focus on wide receiver Devon Wylie.

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Each year, we like to run a series of posts called "90-in-90." The idea is that we'll take a look at every player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few ways. This roster will certainly change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not exactly 90 players in 90 days. At this point, it's a name we're keeping around for street cred.

The San Francisco 49ers head into 2014 training camp with LaMichael James as their primary return man, but they will have several players competing for his job. One player that is a bit of a long-shot, but could surprise, is wide receiver Devon Wylie. The 49ers signed Wylie to their practice squad in December, and then signed him to a reserve/future contract in January.

Wylie entered the NFL in 2012 when he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a fourth round pick, but the change in coaching and football ops in 2013 resulted in his release at the beginning of the season. After his time with the Chiefs, but prior to signing with the 49ers, Wylie spent time on the Cardinals, Steelers, and Titans practice squads. He spent two weeks on the Titans 53-man roster before being released in late November.

Wylie is an undersized receiver, measuring in at 5'9, 187 pounds at the Combine. While small, he brings serious speed, running a 4.36 40. He appears to be best suited as a slot receiver, who still needs to refine some of his technique. The biggest drawback for him coming out of college was health. He dealt with numerous injuries during his college years, so durability will always be a concern. Here are some scouting reports from 2012:

NFLs Future
Big Cat Country

Expected 2014 impact:

Wylie retains practice squad eligibility, so there is always a chance the 49ers try and slip him through for another season of development. However, his best chance to make an impact on the 53-man roster is if he can claim the kick and punt return jobs. He could potentially surprise and grab some work as a slot receiver, but that seems somewhat unlikely given the depth of the wide receiver corps.

Odds of making the roster:

They are not particularly good. He could show some things as a return man, but if he and LaMichael James put together fairly similar performances, my guess is LMJ would retain the role. What will be interesting is seeing where the 49ers use him in their wide receiver corps during the preseason. After Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, and Stevie Johnson, Wylie will compete alongside Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, Chuck Jacobs, Jon Baldwin, and David Reed. Patton and Ellington should have a firm grasp on roster spots, but maybe the 49ers decide Wylie is worth keeping as a sixth receiver. I would argue Wylie's biggest competition for a wide receiver spot (be it on the roster OR practice squad) would be Chuck Jacobs. I think Jacobs best bet to make the team in 2014 is via the practice squad, which could potentially limit Wylie's opportunity there.