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 will welcome back fullback Bruce Miller to OTAs on Thursday, as he is close to wrapping up the legal issues he has dealt with dating back to his arrest earlier this offseason. The team decided he should stay away while getting a handle on things, which means second year fullback Trey Millard is getting the snaps in his stead.
The 49ers spent a seventh round draft pick on Millard in the 2014 NFL Draft. He tore his ACL on October 26, 2013, which sank his draft stock, and resulted in a red-shirt season in 2014. He opened training camp on the NFI list, and after activating his practice window later in the fall, the 49ers shelved him the rest of the season.
Millard has the traditional lead-blocking skills required of a fullback, but he brings a bit more athleticism to the position. He fits into a potential H-back role, and I would argue you could look at hime as sort of a fullback version of Delanie Walker. We could see him lineup anywhere from fullback to running back to tight end, to even potentially split out wide on occasion. And of course, he is viewed as a potentially prominent special teams contributor right off the bat. Check out Nick's scouting report on Millard from last summer.
What to expect in 2015:
Coming off a "lost" 2014 season, if Millard makes the roster, I would expect a lot of special teams work out of the gate. He did a lot of that kind of work at Oklahoma, and it is the easiest way for a player to make an impact early in his NFL career. I would not expect a ton of that H-back work early on, but he would give the 49ers some versatility all over the field.
Odds of making the roster:
Although he was a seventh round pick, his talent is undeniable. It would be odd to keep two fullbacks between him and Bruce Miller, but I would not view this as a decision to keep "two fullbacks". For purposes of 2015, Millard would be competing less with Miller and more with the other special teams players. Millard certainly would be competing with miller for opportunities, but for purposes of a roster spot, I don't think he is necessarily competing with Miller at this point in his career.
Millard is probably not a 100 percent lock, but when I put together my roster projection, I likely will include him in the "strong bubble" group. For those who don't recall them from previous years, I include "lock", "strong bubble", "weak bubble", and long shot.