The 49ers have their tackles established with 2018 first round pick Mike McGlinchey and veteran Joe Staley, that means they need to get some depth behind them. Tackles, swing tackles, the sky’s the limit for what they can get.
That brings us to Pace Murphy. An undrafted free agent for the Los Angeles Rams, Murphy saw two games of action in 2016, but not much else. He was waived by the Rams during final roster cuts and came to the 49ers practice squad. He did just enough to sign a futures contract at the end of the season.
Is Murphy the answer for depth? Considering his limited looks last year as the season wore on, one could guess, but that’s not a good sign. It may be because of Kyle Shanahan’s offense or just because he couldn’t do anything to stand above Zane Beadles.
Experience: One accrued season, one season on the practice squad
He is in the first year of his two-year futures contract. His salary pays $555,000.
What to expect in 2018
Murphy hasn’t shown much of anything to distinguish himself. Having been on the 49ers practice squad for 2017 and not getting a single game to at least hit the lineup doesn’t help him given their tackle issues. It seemed like he was brought in initially as an intel-gathering move given the timing and how the 49ers were playing the Rams that week. He may surprise, but Murphy may be sitting at home on Sundays.
That said, the 49ers brought Murphy in without a full training camp, so perhaps he shows enough in the preseason he’s worth some roster depth. The team easily could have cut him to save a roster spot and yet they elected to keep him on, so he could maybe show some great development in Kyle Shanahan’s system to gain himself a backup spot.
Odds of making the roster
Given Murphy’s size, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was given a shot at the guard position as depth as well as tackle. Once again, the 49ers have addressed their offensive line and he’s got an uphill battle against others like Jonathan Cooper, Joshua Garnett, and others if he wants that guard spot. The fact he signed a futures contract certainly is a plus, but I see him as a Game 4 starter in the preseason and getting another trip on the practice squad.