Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but Fooch is a crazy person who manages this blog with no rhyme or reason and it's worked so far. Who am I to argue?
The San Francisco 49ers defensive line will see a lot of turnover in 2015, with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald departing over the last six months. The change will give us a better handle on Trent Baalke's draft classes, with guys like Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial and Arik Armstead all part of the picture moving forward.
Beyond those guys, there are several under-the-radar defensive line options. Mike Purcell and Lawrence Okoye are probably the two most notable, but another one is Garrison Smith. The 49ers signed Smith to their practice squad December 23, 2014, where he spent the final week of the year. Prior to that, he signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent following the 2014 NFL Draft. He was part of final roster cuts, and then signed with the Dolphins practice squad. He was released on September 6, and signed with the New Orleans Saints practice squad on November 27, and was released on December 16.
Smith signed a reserve/future contract immediately following the end of the season. Here are a few scouting reports on Smith. Some of the consensus is that he is a bit undersized and lacks high end strength, but brings speed and explosiveness to the position.
What to expect in 2015:
His most likely destination is the practice squad in 2015. If he did make the roster, he would likely be at the end of the roster and inactive most weeks. Given that we have not seen much, it's hard to say exactly what we could expect other than that. Well, unless he surprises in training camp.
Odds of making the roster:
Odds are pretty slim that he makes the roster. I'd say no more than like 10 percent, give or take. But again, if he shows a little something, there are plenty of possible players he could supplant. Right now, the defensive line locks would seem to be the following:
A guy like Tony Jerod-Eddie is a tough one to figure. He has gotten extensive work as a reserve and spot-starter the last few years. Is Smith competing with a guy like TJE, or is he mostly competing with guys like Lawrence Okoye and Mike Purcell? It's hard to figure out that bottom half of the depth chart.