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?
There are still quite a few notable players left on the San Francisco 49ers roster for purposes of the 90-in-90, but today, we move to the bottom part of the 90-man roster. The 49ers have eight tight ends on their roster (not including long snapper/tight end Kyle Nelson), and one of the under-the-radar players is Xavier Grimble.
The 49ers signed Grimble to a reserve/future contract on December 30. The deal gets him into training camp, but guarantees nothing beyond that. Grimble originally signed with the New York Giants last year as an undrafted free agent out of USC. He was released late in training camp, and then signed with the 49ers practice squad on September 15. He was released from the practice squad on November 18 to make room for Marcus Cromartie. He was later re-signed to the practice squad on December 16, where he remained the final two weeks of the season.
There are several scouting reports on the former Trojan. He sounds more like more of an old-school catch and block tight end, as opposed to the more athletic hybrid type of tight end we are seeing more of these days. He can do all the things a team needs, but he does not do anything particularly great at this point in his career. He has good size, but seems to lack the athleticism to emerge as anything more than a third string tight end.
Odds of making the roster
He has virtually no chance of making the roster. I'd say he will get extensive playing time in the preseason, but with eight tight ends on the roster, it is entirely possible the back end does not get nearly as much time as in the past. Of course, if the 49ers want to stash someone like Busta Anderson, maybe they hide him in the preseason. I don't know how they feel about his roster chances, but that is one way to potentially cover themselves.
Grimble is basically fighting for the practice squad this year. His primary competition would be guys like Anderson and Asante Cleveland. I don't see the 49ers keeping two tight ends on the practice squad, but if any of them shows something in training camp, one very well could get claimed off waivers.