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49ers 90-in-90: OL Alan Knott

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is offensive lineman Alan Knott.

The 49ers have Weston Richburg at center, but whoever starts behind him remains a question. We’ve talked about Coleman Shelton, and Alan Knott will fit a lot of the same things I’m about to discuss.

So, Alan Knott. Another undrafted free agent. He played at South Carolina as a center and had some good starts and highlight film. I put on his game against Texas A&M to get a look at him through a full 60 minutes and was pleasantly impressed. Knott snaps the ball primarily out of the shotgun, but once the ball gets out, he seems to look pretty good. He’s a wall, his body seems to stay connected as he’s blocking the guy.

Now the bad is he seems to lack power. Sure he has his body anchoring things, but too many times I see defenders bull rushing him. Here’s his highlight reel if you want to see him get out to the second level. He’s not going to flatten anybody or even dominate, but he can be annoying for defenders getting to the quarterback, which is really all you can ask for in a backup UDFA center.

I think with the positional concerns at center, the 49ers may have something with this guy. A year on the practice squad or even on the bench and increasing his strength and he could be pretty good. The competition will be between him and Coleman Shelton, one will get that spot if either, but Knott seems like he may be good.

In a year. Or two.

Basic info

Age: 23 (turns 24 on December 16th)
Experience: Rookie
Height: 6’4
Weight: 290

Cap Status

He is in year one of his four-year rookie deal. His rookie season pays him a base salary of $480,000, and he received a $5,000 signing bonus.

What to expect in 2018

The 49ers have center locked down with Weston Richburg, but behind Richburg is a need for some depth and someone who can snap the ball. Knott very well could be looking to take that spot in 2018. Perhaps he impresses as a guard, but it’s highly unlikely with the competition the 49ers have for the single guard spot. Knott will be up against other second year players as well as Joshua Garnett for that position, and he’s got a steep learning curve there to start or hit the bench.

Odds of making the roster

You can copy just what I said about Coleman Shelton and say the same thing about Alan Knott. The 49ers need a backup center and Knott could be that and a backup guard. He’s just not ready to be starting at either in Week 1. There’s also Erik Magnuson who has been with the team for a year (and Kyle Shanahan’s offense) which doesn’t help either of the above prospects. And the team added versatile Mike Person to compete for the reserve interior role. I think it’s a coin flip between Shelton and Knott on who sticks around and it’s going to be a deep backup center battle to watch. One of them will make the practice squad, the other will not.

But after watching film on them both, I just don’t know which one.