The San Francisco 49ers return to training camp in nine days, and that means it is time for what will hopefully continue to be a regular annual feature. A year ago, we put together a consensus ranking of the 49ers 90-man roster. It included rankings from myself and ten of our writers. You can look at last year’s full rankings here.
We’re back again, this time with 13 people voting. Since this is entirely subjective, I did not provide a specific framework for voting. I could have said “the best,” or “the most important,” or a whole host of other possible ideas. The Instead, I just told people to rank the 90-man roster heading into 2017. It’s not an exact science, but none of this is!
Thanks to Greg Valerio, Billy Kerr, Oscar Aparicio, Tracy Sandler, James Brady, Jennifer Chan, Pat Holloway, Steve Busichio, Scott Geelan, Mark Saltveit, TryAndCatchVD, and Joe The Wizard.
I’ve included the high and low ranking for each player, and then also my own ranking. On to the first ten players!
90. Nick Rose, K (High: 71, Low: 90, Fooch: 90)
The 49ers bring in a camp leg every year, and Rose is that guy this year. Robbie Gould is locked into the starting job, so I am a little surprised anybody ranked Rose outside of this last group. I had him ranked No. 90 on my list.
89. Darrell Williams Jr., OL (High: 70, Low: 88, Fooch: 84)
Signed as a UDFA out of Western Kentucky, and received $10,000 in guaranteed money ($5,000 signing bonus, $5,000 base salary). The 49ers did not add any draft picks to the offensive line, instead focusing on veteran free agency to bring in line competition. Williams started his college career at tackle, but moved inside to guard. You’ll see a pattern below as UDFA linemen get less respect than a lot of players when it comes to these kinds of rankings.
88. John Flynn, OL (High: 72, Low: 88, Fooch: 81)
Speak of the devil. The 49ers signed Flynn as a UDFA out of Montana State, giving him a $5,000 signing bonus. He played primarily guard, leaving him competing for something behind a starting duo that will include two of Joshua Garnett, Zane Beadles, and Brandon Fusco.
87. Tyler McCloskey, FB (High: 71, Low: 90, Fooch: 78)
The 49ers were in touch with McCloskey dating back to late December, and ended up giving the Houston product $10,000 in guaranteed money, split between a signing bonus and base salary guarantee. Kyle Juszczyk is a lock for the roster, meaning McCloskey’s best hope is if he stands out on special teams.
86. Richard Levy, OL (High: 68, Low: 89, Fooch: 89)
And another offensive lineman. Levy signed as UDFA out of Connecticut, but got no guaranteed money. He is among the group competing for probably two practice squad spots. The 49ers signed him after a tryout at rookie minicamp, so he showed them something early on.
85. Andrew Lauderdale, OL (High: 71, Low: 90, Fooch: 82)
Lauderdale was among the last of the 49ers UDFA signings, signing his deal on June. The 49ers are already his second team as a rookie, having signed with and been waived by the New Orleans Saints shortly after the draft.
84. Nick Mullens, QB (High: 59, Low: 88, Fooch: 88)
The 49ers quarterback depth chart is fairly settled at this point. Brian Hoyer will be the starter, Matt Barkley will be the backup, and rookie C.J. Beathard will be the developmental third string QB. The 49ers gave Mullens $20,000 in fully guaranteed money, including a $2,000 signing bonus and $18,000 of his 2017 base salary, so maybe he is ticketed for the practice squad.
83. Erik Magnuson, OL (High: 55, Low: 89, Fooch: 73)
The 49ers signed Magnuson out of Michigan, giving him $14,000 in guaranteed money ($4,000 SB, $10,000 base). It’s interesting see the disparity in rankings. I ranked Magnuson 73, and honestly, I could have swapped a lot of the bottom third of this ranking around and been fine. When you get to the back end of a bad team’s roster, there are a lot of interchangeable pieces.
82. Noble Nwachukwu, DE (High: 60, Low: 90, Fooch: 77)
Nwachukwu signed out of West Virginia, and received $30,000 in guaranteed money, fifth most among 49ers UDFAs. He got a $10,000 signing bonus and $20,000 in base salary money. He’s considered too short to be a traditional end, and doesn’t have the weight to be an interior tackle. However, scouting reports point to a guy with explosiveness at the snap and a strong motor. The 49ers are overhauling their pass rush with a new-look defense, and Nwachukwu seems ticketed for the practice squad.
81. Chanceller James, S (High: 57, Low: 90, Fooch: 85)
The 49ers signed James as part of their second round of UDFA additions after a rookie minicamp tryout. He’s got solid size and seems like a potential developmental safety prospect. He would need to prove himself in a big way on special teams with Jaquiski Tartt seemingly pretty firmly entrenched in a backup safety job.