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 are making a major transition at the running back position, with Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, Kendall Hunter and Mike Davis all potentially figuring into the mix. It is not a simple task replacing the franchise's leading rusher, but the 49ers have a lot of options to consider.
One guy who is a longshot, but will likely get plenty of preseason touches is Kendall Gaskins. The 49ers signed Gaskins to their practice squad at the beginning of the 2014 season, where he spent the whole season. Gaskins signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2013 as an undrafted free agent. He was released in late August 2013, and spent time with the Tennessee Titans and New York Giants practice squads. The Giants released him at the end of 2014 training camp.
What to expect in 2015:
I would suspect we see a decent amount lot of Gaskins in the fourth quarter of preseason games. It will be interesting to see how the 49ers split up that workload with Mike Davis and Jarryd Hayne. Hyde, Bush and Hunter are going to get the early snaps, but I would imagine the 49ers will not want to over-work them in the latter portion of preseason action.
Davis is going to make the roster, but could find himself a mixture of inactive and getting limited snaps as a rookie. Maybe the 49ers are willing to get him some extra work in the preseason to get him more comfortable with the playbook. This could further preclude opportunities for Gaskins outside of mop-up duty. I was going to suggest Gaskins would likely be among the NFL leaders in preseason carriers, but Davis and Hayne could put a crimp in that plan.
Odds of making the roster:
I think calling him a longshot to make the roster is being generous. The 49ers just have too much potential depth at the position for a third-year practice squad player. Gaskins does have one more year of practice squad eligibility, but that third year creates some conflict. A third-year practice squad player is only allowed to stay on the practice squad if the 53-man roster remains full. I believe that means that if the team releases a player or otherwise moves them off the 53-man roster, the team has to either promote Gaskins to that spot, or release him from the practice squad. With that in mind, I would be surprised if he ended up on the practice squad this year.