The San Francisco 49ers made a couple roster moves last week, one of which involved trading tight end Asante Cleveland to the New England Patriots for offensive lineman Jordan Devey. The 49ers got Devey right in the mix this past weekend, as he played 23 snaps at right guard. He seemed to fair well, with Pro Football Focus recording him as giving up one QB hurry, grading out at -0.6 in pass protection, and +1.7 in run blocking.
Devey is currently at the bottom of the depth chart, as one would expect for a new guy coming in. However, Jim Tomsula suggested he would get a bump up this week. Tomsula was asked about Devey in his Monday conference call, and he had praise for the offensive lineman:
I think he did very well, and I would expect you to see him playing a little earlier. I like what Ian did at the right guard spot during his time. Also, again with Marcus Martin, like what he did. And then working Brandon over there on the left side. Getting some live work there in that situation was, he did some really nice things. There's still work in there.
Right now, it appears a strong likelihood that Daniel Kilgore will open the season on the Reserve/PUP list. In my most recent 53-man roster prediction, I have an offensive line that includes the following:
OT: Joe Staley, Erik Pears, Trenton Brown
OG: Alex Boone, Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas
C: Joe Looney, Dillon Farrell
From that group, Dillon Farrell and Trenton Brown seem the most likely on the bubble. Devey, Ian Silberman and Andrew Tiller (coming off a solid performance himself) would seem to be the most likely competing with those two for one or two roster spots. While Devey might end up not making the roster, the 49ers obviously liked something about him to do the deal for Cleveland. If they had no interest in him, they could have just as easily tried to do a deal for a conditional seventh rounder (conditioned on Cleveland making the Patriots 53-man roster).
For now, it would seem Devey is off to a decent start in his brief 49ers career. Devey entered the NFL in 2013, spending that season on the Ravens and Patriots practice squads. In 2014, he saw action in seven games with the Patriots, including four starts. He has some NFL experience, but he is also practice squad eligible. Maybe he finds a way to stick around.