Earlier today, we took a look at the 49ers 11 draft picks, and what we expect from them in the preseason. Now, I thought we’d take a look at the team’s UDFAs. A lot of them are flying pretty far down the radar, so we’ll start with a list of all the UDFAs.
OL Alex Balducci
S Jered Bell
WR Devon Cajuste
DT Demetrius Cherry
OLB Jason Fanaika
DT Darren Lake
K John Lunsford
ILB Wynton McManis
OL Blake Muir
OL Norman Price
WR Bryce Treggs
CB Cleveland Wallace
Matt Barrows took a look at the team’s rookies, and he listed out only four of the UDFAs among his “prominent” ones: Treggs, Cajuste, Balducci, and Lake. Treggs and Cajuste have significant opportunities thanks to the questions after Torrey Smith. Lake has an opportunity at nose tackle with Ian Williams on injured reserve. And Balducci got the most guaranteed money of any of the 49ers’ undrafted free agents. He is converting from defensive line to offensive line, and has gotten a lot of positive reviews.
Most UDFAs need to impress on special teams if they want to make the roster. Beyond that, a few like those mentioned above, have some opportunities on offense or defense. Fanaika is among that group considering Aaron Lynch will sit out the first four games of the season while suspended. Eli Harold, Tank Carradine and Corey Lemonier are likely on top of the list of options, but if Fanaika impresses in the preseason, maybe that order changes.
Lunsford received a sizable chunk of guaranteed money as well, but Phil Dawson is signed to a fully guaranteed one-year contract. Maybe the 49ers think he could be a long-term option once Dawson retires. I’m curious to see how much work he gets in light of Dawson’s deal.
The two offensive linemen are a little tougher to figure out (or maybe not). They are likely going to be playing in the third and/or fourth quarter. There seem to be too many linemen in front of them to do anything beyond compete for a practice squad spot.
Are any other UDFAs jumping out at you?