The San Francisco 49ers have signed 14 undrafted free agents since the 2018 NFL Draft came to a close. We could see some more UDFAs swapped in before training camp, but for the most part we know what the UDFA class looks like.
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 started with UDFA quarterback Jack Heneghan, and today we’re moving on to running back Jeffery Wilson. The 49ers signed Wilson out of North Texas, and most notably it comes a year after they signed Matt Breida as a UDFA. Breida earned a roster spot as Carlos Hyde’s primary backup, and he stands a good chance of holding onto the job a year later behind Jerick McKinnon.
Nobody is guaranteed anything behind McKinnon, but Breida seems as good a bet as any to get a sizable role. The big question in competition is what to make of Joe Williams, Jeremy McNichols, and now Jeff Wilson. Raheem Mostert could get some opportunities, but he is also a strong roster candidate because of his special teams work. The 49ers could decide he can do enough to handle a third or fourth RB role, but there could still be an opportunity in the backfield.
Wilson brings strength in the passing game, and is a solid runner at 210 pounds. He had issues with fumbles, and that is the surest way for a rookie to get a call to bring his playbook with him to the head coach’s office. But if he can avoid fumbles, he and McNichols are two fascinating competitors in the backfield.
At the same time, I would not be at all shocked if Wilson and/or McNichols emerged as strong KSWOF candidates. Would it be shocking to see one of them dominating in the fourth quarter of preseason games only to be a practice squad option or worse at the end of training camp?