The San Francisco 49ers have signed 14 undrafted free agents since the 2018 NFL Draft came to a close. They are likely still in touch with some UDFAs in case they need bodies, but the bulk of the group is pretty much settled.
Over the next three months, through the end of training camp, we’ll be trying to figure out which of the UDFAs might surprise us and grab a roster spot. There are fewer opportunities available this year, but there is a decent chance at least one of the UDFAs ends up snagging a roster spot.
We’ll continue breaking down players in a host of ways, but I thought I would go through the UDFAs, position-by-position to talk about their roster chances. Special teams will end up impacting these players across positions, but in the meantime, we’ll start by looking at their competition within their own position group.
We start with the position that probably offers the quickest answer: quarterback. A year ago, the team signed Nick Mullens as a UDFA, and this year, they signed former Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan to a UDFA contract.
Heneghan and Mullens are both on a depth chart that already consists of Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard. Garoppolo is obviously settled in at No. 1, and it’s hard to see the team dumping Beathard at this point.
But at what point do we see any kind of change on the QB depth chart? There’s really no rush at this point, so it could be nothing for the next couple years. Beathard had his issues last year, but he stood tall while taking a pounding in the pocket, and did manage to get them their first win of the season. Beathard will only see playing time in blowouts and injury situations. With no competition for the No. 1 spot, I don’t see Beathard going anywhere for the time being.
And so, Heneghan and Mullens would appear to be competing for a practice squad spot at best at the moment. The 49ers will keep one QB on the practice squad. Mullens spent all last season on the practice squad, so the team does have some investment in him. But with no need for another long-term option at this point, the team has some flexibility. My guess is Heneghan is a camp arm who will look to impress and land on anybody’s practice squad around the league.