The San Francisco 49ers made a pair of strong waiver claims last season, grabbing Cassius Marsh from the New England Patriots and Sheldon Day from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both proved effective, adding some oomph to the defensive front.
The 49ers signed Marsh to a two-year contract extension this offseason before he hit unrestricted free agency. The addition of only Jeremiah Attaochu to the pass rush suggests they are looking for something big from Marsh.
Day entered the NFL in 2016 as a fourth round pick of the Jaguars. The collective bargaining agreement prohibits draft picks from negotiating a new contract until they finish their third season in the NFL. That means that if Day makes the roster this season, they will need to figure out his future with the organization next offseason.
Pro Football Focus recently put together a list of ten players they want to see more of in 2018. Day was among those, and PFF had this to say:
Drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Day was cut midway through the 2017 season, with his release coming after an impressive performance against the Indianapolis Colts where he delivered as a pass-rusher and against the run. With 12 tackles resulting in a defensive stop, he will look to make an impact for the 49ers in 2018, with his biggest struggle perhaps coming with where he fits on the San Francisco defensive line. With Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Soloman Thomas, the 49ers are stacked with players of a similar physical stature.
Day joined the 49ers in Week 12, and averaged a shade over 32 snaps per game. His best bet for work this fall will be on the defensive interior in passing situations. Earl Mitchell and D.J. Jones would seem to be competing for run down situation, while Day will be competing with Ronald Blair as a depth option.
Where the competition really gets tough is when Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas move inside. DeForest Buckner will be in one of the two spots, but even when he rotates off on occasion, there is not a ton of room. Of course, injuries are always something that impacts the depth chart, and even if the team remains healthy, maybe we see a little more rotation than last year.
Whatever the case, Day is a talented player who will need to show up big in training camp and the preseason. He likely won’t be a regular in the lineup, but he has the talent to make him a name to keep an eye out for over the course of August.