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 wide receiver depth chart can be broken down into a few layers. Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are at the top, and will likely see the bulk of pass catching opportunities for wide receivers. Jerome Simpson, Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington are that next level competing for the third and fourth receiver positions. Then there is everybody else competing for a potential last roster spot, and more likely practice squad opportunities. I do not include DeAndre Smelter for now because he stands a decent chance of opening the season on the NFI list.
Chuck Jacobs is entering his third season with the 49ers, and is likely part of that latter group of practice squad, and maybe 52nd or 53rd roster spot candidates. The 49ers signed Jacobs as an undrafted free agent out of Utah State following the 2013 NFL Draft. He was part of final roster cuts that August after a strong preseason. He put together some impressive performances, finishing with six receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns. He cleared waivers and spent the season on the practice squad.
A year later, Jacobs suffered a torn ACL in the first preseason game of the season, and spent the year on injured reserve. All indications are that he has been a full participant in the offseason workout program. We'll keep an eye out for more details at minicamp this week, but health does not seem to be a significant concern at this point.
What to expect in 2015:
If Jacobs were to make the roster, he would be looking at the fifth receiver role. That means he would focus on special teams, but also likely be inactive a sizable chunk of the year. He has shown some things each of the last two years, so he would potentially have a little bit of a leg up on the rookies. On the other hand, there are a whole bunch of those rookies with different intriguing skill-sets. My guess is we should expect practice squad at best in 2015.
Odds of making the roster:
Pretty slim. I do think the 49ers will probably keep five wide receivers, but it is going to be tough for Jacobs. He does bring solid speed (4.45 40 coming out of college), but scouting reports seem to view him as lacking that extra gear. The rookies bring a mix of speed and size that might make them intriguing long-term projections. The 49ers are likely only keeping a max of two wide receivers on the practice squad, which further limits options. And if Jacobs can stay healthy through the preseason and get consistent playing time, he could be a waiver claim after final cuts.
I'm a Jacobs fan following his two solid performances in the 2013 preseason, so I have to consider that when discussing him. Consider him on my KSWOF short list.