The San Francisco 49ers signed 12 undrafted free agents following the 2016 NFL Draft, with devon Cajuste viewed by many as the most likely impact player. Over the weekend, we opened a poll as to which UDFA would make the biggest impact aside from Cajuste. Alabama defensive tackle Darren Lake led the way, with Utah outside linebacker Jason Fanaika and Cal wide receiver Bryce Treggs right behind Lake.
Today, I thought we'd look a little further back in the list of 49ers UDFAs. Here are the current players on the 90-man roster who signed as UDFAs the last two seasons.
- WR Dres Anderson
- WR DiAndre Campbell
- OLB Marcus Rush
- WR DeAndrew White
- TE Je'Ron Hamm (signed with Saints as UDFA)
- S L.J. McCray
- ILB Shayne Skov
- DL Garrison Smith (signed with Dolphins as UDFA)
McCray and Skov have both emerged as core special teams players. It remains to be seen if either will ever emerge as more than that, and that will be something to track as they look to earn roster spots with an almost entirely new coaching staff.
The 49ers signed three receivers last year as undrafted free agents. Anderson ended up spending the season on injured reserve, Campbell was on the practice squad, and White earned a spot on the 53-man roster, albeit with a lot of weeks inactive. The 49ers have a lot of opportunities at the wide receiver position, but they also have DeAndre Smelter returning from ACL recovery, they signed Eric Rogers after he led the CFL in receiving, and they drafted Aaron Burbridge.
Marcus Rush or Garrison Smith are serious options to earn roster spots on the defensive side of the ball. The 49ers did not add an outside linebacker in the draft, although they signed Jason Fanaika and Lenny Jones as UDFAs. As for the nose tackle position, with Ian Williams dealing with ankle issues, it opens the door for another defensive lineman to emerge. Smith and Darren Lake could be competing for that kind of opportunity.
Who do you think is the guy to emerge with any kind of role in 2016, or a bigger role in the case of Skov, McCray, and White?