The San Francisco 49ers have done a fairly good job of finding early contributions from undrafted free agents. At the very least, they have had numerous UDFAs earn roster spots. Last year, DeAndrew White made the roster, while Dylan Thompson, Marcus Rush, and DiAndre Campbell all earned practice squad spots out of training camp. Jarryd Hayne technically was a UDFA as well.
This year, the 49ers have signed 12 undrafted free agents. That group includes:
OL Alex Balducci
S Jered Bell
WR Devon Cajuste
DL Demetrius Cherry
OLB Jason Fanaika
OLB Lenny Jones
DL Darren Lake
K John Lunsford
ILB Wynton McManis
OL Blake Muir
OL Norman Price
WR Bryce Treggs
Devon Cajuste is the guy most people see as the most likely to make an impact with the 49ers. He is listed as a wide receiver, but there is some thought that he could either play tight end, or some kind of h-back role.
SB Nation's Adam Stites put together a look at ten UDFAs who could make an impact in the NFL. He included Cajuste, and had this to say about why fans should know about him:
Cajuste is another player who slipped out of the draft because there's a lack of a true position for the Stanford alum. While he was very productive for the Cardinal, he's not quite as athletic as you'd want a wide receiver to be, but not quite as big as you'd want a tight end to be.
Instead, he's somewhere in between. But the 49ers have a coach who can take advantage of that conundrum.
Chip Kelly had this to say about Cajuste after the draft:
"He's outstanding. I obviously have a great relationship with David [Shaw], I went to their pro day he came down to our pro day. He's a tough matchup as a receiver, he's so big, he's strong, he's physical, he's got a great catch radius."
I think plenty of us are intrigued by Cajuste, but my question today is who else among the UDFAs might make an impact. In looking through that list of UDFAs, you can make arguments for a few of them.
Darren Lake is intriguing in light of Ian Williams' ankle injury. Williams' status for Week 1 is in question, which opens the door for more defensive tackles. Mike Purcell is likely going to be getting first team work for now, but Lake could get some significant preseason work.
Jason Fanaika and Lenny Jones will be competing for work at outside linebacker. They are likely long-shots, but if Corey Lemonier struggles, that could open up some opportunities. And while I don't see Ahmad Brooks going anywhere, if he did finally get released or cut, it would open up another opportunity.
I've included a poll, so let us know which player other than Devon Cajuste you see as a potential impact player sooner rather than later.