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49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: OLB Lenny Jones

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to rookie outside linebacker Lenny Jones.

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 will look to defensive lineman DeForest Buckner as the primary addition to their pass rush, but the team did add some other options. They signed UDFA outside linebackers Jason Fanaika and Lenny Jones shortly after the draft. Jones joins the team out of Nevada, where he was named second team All-Mountain West.

Jones joined the team in spring 2011, having not played high school football until his senior year in San Leandro, CA. Jones had played Pop Warner football, but gave it up fairly quickly. He was focused on basketball, but did not get the kinds of offers he was hoping for following his junior season of high school. He decided to play football his senior year, and that eventually got him into Nevada. Over four seasons he bounced between the starting lineup and rotational work. He had a career-high seven sacks as a senior, along with 11.5 tackles for a loss. He did not participate in the NFL Combine, but at the Nevada Pro Day he ran a 4.86 40 and put up 22 reps on the bench press. His arms measured in at 33 1/4 inches. For comparison, Aaron Lynch’s arms measured in at 34 inches, Eli Harold’s measured in at 33 inches, and Aldon Smith’s measured in at 35 3/8 inches.

The feature linked below includes this random tidbit:

When Jones was 16, Epic Records flew Jones' four-person rap group, Gunestarz, to New York to record some songs. They even signed a deal. "But it just fell through," he said. "We had an offer, but the middle men were in it for themselves and tried to do us over, so it just didn't work out."

Scouting reports

Appeared in 50 games (31 starts) and recorded 149 tackles, 31.5 TFLs and 19.0 sacks during his career with the Wolf Pack. He finished his collegiate career ranked 5th in school history with 19.0. In 2015, played in 12 games (11 starts) and registered 45 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, 6.0 sacks, 4 PDs and 1 FR to earn Second-Team All-Mountain West honors. As a junior, appeared in all 13 games and was credited with 36 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 5.0 sacks, 5 PDs and 2 INTs. In 2013, appeared in all 12 games (7 starts) and recorded 31 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks and 3 PDs. As a redshirt freshman, was named Freshman Second-Team All-America after starting all 13 games and registering 37 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 5.0 sacks, 3 FFs and 3 PDs. Redshirted as a true freshman in 2011. Attended San Leandro (CA) HS, where he earned first-team all-league honors as both a tight end and defensive end as a senior. Born 8/8/91 in San Leandro, CA.

Basic info

Age: 24 (25 on August 8)
Experience: Rookie
Height: 6’2
Weight: 270 lbs

Cap status

Signed three-year UDFA deal, earning an $8,000 signing bonus, and a $5,000 guarantee on his first-year salary. If he makes the roster, his base salary will be $450,000, and his cap hit will be $452,666.

What to expect in 2016

As with most of the UDFAs, his best shot at sticking around with the 49ers in 2016 is on the practice squad. He’s an older rookie in terms of age, but he did not get back into football until late in high school. He’s a big guy, but at 270, it will be interesting to see if the 49ers work with him to drop a few pounds. He’ll likely get plenty of work in training camp, and if he shows something, the team will try and slip him to the practice squad. His best shot at earning a roster spot would be if he stands out on special teams in a huge way.

Odds of making the roster

I have him listed as a longshot on my bubble watch. He has a lot of hill to climb to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, and there is no reason to think it happens this year. Maybe he surprises, but for now I don’t see it happening.