The San Francisco 49ers had a busy weekend of rookie minicamp, and the tryout candidates yielded three players for the 90-man roster. The team announced on Monday that they have signed Connecticut offensive lineman Richard Levy, Boise State safety Chanceller James, and Georgia Southern wide receiver B.J. Johnson III.
To clear room for the three players, the 49ers released wide receiver K.D. Cannon, running back DuJuan Harris, and offensive lineman Bret Treadway. Cannon’s agent confirmed the news over the weekend, while Harris tweeted about his release on Monday morning. With the three releases and three signings, the 49ers will remain at the 90-man roster limit.
There is not a lot of info out there about Levy (6’5, 313 lbs), but it appears he spent last season playing guard at UConn. He began his career at tackle, but his coaches thought guard would make him more marketable at the next level. The 49ers started Zane Beadles and Joshua Garnett at guard last season, with Andrew Tiller also getting some work there. The 49ers acquired Jeremy Zuttah via trade, which could mean he or Daniel Kilgore might move out to guard once the center competition is settled. Levy joins the competition among UDFAs including Erik Magnuson, JP Flynn, and Evan Goodman.
James (6’2, 215 pounds) is another versatile option who has spent time at both nickel and safety. He seems to be built more for strong safety than free safety, measuring in taller and heavier than all of the 49ers safeties.
Matt Maiocco reported earlier in the day that the 49ers had been impressed with Johnson’s rookie tryout. Johnson measures in at 5’11, 213 pounds. Kendrick Bourne and Victor Bolden had joined KD Cannon as UDFA additions to the 49ers wide receiver depth chart. Johnson replaces Cannon, with all three players likely competing primarily for a practice squad spot.
The week of the draft, Dane Brugler wrote up a piece looking at one player on each FBS program who might go undrafted. He had this to say about Johnson:
Johnson doesn't have the speed or burst ideal for the NFL, but he is an interesting possession target with his NFL body and reliable hands.
Here is some bio information on each of the three new players, courtesy of 49ers PR.
A 24-year-old native of Trenton, NJ, Levy (6-6, 315) attended the University of Connecticut. During his five-year career with the Huskies (2012-16), he appeared in 38 games (37 starts) along the offensive line. As a senior in 2016, he started in all 12 games while helping the Huskies rush for 100-or-more yards six times. In the 2014-15 seasons, he started 12 and 13 games respectively at left tackle, while seeing his first collegiate action in one game in 2013. Redshirted as a true freshman in 2012.
A 22-year-old native of Spring Valley, CA, James (6-2, 208) attended Boise State University. During his five-year career with the Broncos (2012-16), he played in 35 games (24 starts) and registered 171 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, 3.0 sacks, seven passes defensed and one fumble recovery. As a senior in 2016, he started all 12 games in which he appeared, and notched 80 tackles, a team-high three interceptions and one pass defensed. In 2015, he appeared in 13 games (nine starts) and finished with 55 tackles, six passes defensed, 3.0 sacks and one interception. As a sophomore, he played in 10 games (three starts) and registered 36 tackles and one fumble recovery. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2012, he missed the entire 2013 season due to injury.
A 24-year-old native of Woodruff, SC, Johnson III (6-1, 210) attended Georgia Southern University. During his five-year career with the Eagles (2012-16), he played in 44 games (35 starts) and registered 92 receptions for 1,377 yards and six touchdowns. As a senior in 2016, he started all 12 games in which he appeared, and finished with a team-high 42 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns. In 2015, he appeared in nine games (five starts) and finished with 15 receptions for 249 yards. As a sophomore, he started all 12 games and registered a team-high 23 receptions for 312 yards and three touchdowns. In 2013, appeared in 11 games (six starts) and led the team with 12 receptions for 216 yards. Redshirted as a true freshman in 2012.