The San Francisco 49ers made a handful of practice squad roster moves on Monday. The team signed tight end Xavier Grimble and cornerback Leon McFadden. To make room for those two on their 10-man practice squad, the 49ers waived cornerback Chance Casey and linebacker Shayne Skov.
We discussed the Grimble move on Monday, considering it came as Vernon Davis was getting an MRI on his ankle. Additionally, Vance McDonald dealt with a knee injury on Sunday, and there is no word on his status. For now, adding Grimble gives the 49ers a pair of tight ends (Grimble and Asante Cleveland) on the practice squad in case an extra body is needed on game day.
The McFadden addition is a bit of an interesting one because we are talking about a one-time 3rd round draft pick. The Cleveland Browns drafted McFadden No. 68 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. The San Diego State prospect appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, and then was waived at the end of training in 2014. Current GM Ray Farmer was assistant GM when the team drafted McFadden, but the Browns brought in a new coaching staff this past offseason. I have to imagine that coaching staff really were not fans of McFadden. A third round status doesn't guarantee much in life, but I would have thought it would get him more than just one year and a training camp.
Whatever the reason for the Browns waiving him, there is some sleeper potential here. Time with Ed Donatell could be a big help. McFadden benefits from the new rule allowing a player with a fully accrued season to still maintain practice squad eligibility.
Here are some scouting reports on McFadden:
Here are some details about Grimble and McFadden, courtesy of the 49ers:
Grimble (6-5, 255) was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants on May 15, 2014. He spent the offseason and training camp with the Giants before being waived on August 26.
A 21-year-old native of Las Vegas, NV, Grimble attended the University of Southern California (2010-13), where he was an All-Pac-12 selection in 2012 and 2013. He totaled 69 receptions for 731 yards and 11 touchdowns in his collegiate career.
McFadden (5-10, 190) was originally drafted in the third round (68th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He appeared in all 16 games (two starts) as a rookie, recording 19 tackles and one pass defensed before being waived on August 30, 2014. McFadden was acquired on waivers by the New York Jets on August 31 and was later waived on September 11.
A 23-year-old native of Bellflower, CA, McFadden attended San Diego State University (2009-12), where he was named First-Team All-Mountain West Conference in each of his last three seasons. He registered 188 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 47 passes defensed, three sacks and eight interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.