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 you get the idea.
The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of questions about their tight end position, with the most notable "addition" to the group being Bruce Miller's conversion from fullback. The team added Blake Bell in the draft last year, and signed Garrett Celek to a four-year extension this offseason. However, there was one addition in between all this, Je'Ron Hamm.
The 49ers claimed Hamm off waivers after Washington waived him last fall. The offsetting move was the placement on injured reserve. Hamm entered the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. He signed with the New Orleans Saints on May 12, 2014 and was waived on August 21, 2014. He signed with Washington's practice squad on September 9, 2014 where he spent the remainder of the season. He signed a reserve/future contract with Washington on December 29, 2014. In 2015, he was waived by Washington on September 9 and signed to the practice squad the next day. On November 23, he was promoted to the team’s active roster where he appeared in one game and was inactive for four others prior to him being waived on December 29. The 49ers claimed him on December 30.
One reason the team claimed was probably due to Garrett Celek's injury. Celek suffered a high ankle sprain in late November, and ended up on injured reserve the final four games of the season. The 49ers only claimed Hamm for the final game, so it is entirely possible they just liked what he could bring to the table in the future.
Hamm played wide receiver in college, but the general view was that his size made him better suited as a tight end or h-back in the NFL. His hands were consistently viewed as a negative, and is not much in the way of a vertical threat. Here are some scouting reports leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.
Age: 23 (24 on June 15)
Experience: 2 seasons (1 accrued, 1 practice squad)
Weight: 236 lbs
On second year of a two-year deal, with base salary and cap hit of $525,000 if he earns a spot on the 53-man roster.
What to expect in 2016
Hamm is likely competing for a practice squad spot, but if he managed a roster spot, I would think it would require him establishing himself in this kind of h-back, hybrid role. I would expect him to be inactive a decent amount if he did make the 53-man roster, but if active, he would likely spend a lot of time on special teams.
Odds of making the roster
Another player with low odds. If he wants to earn a roster spot, he needs to establish himself on special teams, and likely hope the 49ers decide they've had enough with Vance McDonald. I can't see Hamm making the roster if McDonald is on it as well. Bruce Miller, Blake Bell, and Garrett Celek are not going anywhere. I highly doubt McDonald is going anywhere either, but entering the final year of his rookie contract, and yet to really get his career on track, maybe the 49ers surprise us and make a change. That's really the only way I see Hamm potentially on the roster. And even then, he's also competing with Busta Anderson. More than likely they are competing for a practice squad spot.