The San Francisco 49ers final two transactions of the 2018 regular season saw them promote defensive lineman Ryan Delaire and wide receiver Max McCaffrey to the 53-man roster the day before their Week 17 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. Delaire got 13 defensive snaps at right end, and McCaffrey got five offensive snaps due to injuries to Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis.
The promotion of those two following wide receiver Steven Dunbar’s promotion earlier in the week left the 49ers with seven players on their practice squad.
LB Tyrell Adams
OL Christian DiLauro
TE Marcus Lucas
CB Tarvarus McFadden
WR Jordan Smallwood
OL Najee Toran
S Terrell Williams
After the season ended, the practice squad players contracts expired and the team signed six of the players to reserve/future contracts. All but Adams were signed to a deal that is a placeholder contract until they either make the 53-man roster in September, or are waived at some point.
This past season, quarterback Nick Mullens and tight end Cole Wick ended up being the 2017 practice squad players to earn a 53-man roster spot this season. Mullens was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster after Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt. Wick made the roster out of training camp, but was released after Week 6. He spent the next seven weeks on the practice squad before being released off the practice squad for the final two weeks.
Of the group above, who jumps out at you as the most likely to earn a roster spot in 2019? Terrell Williams seemed to have a shot at a roster spot before an injury sent him to injured reserve. The 49ers reached an injury settlement with him, and then signed him back to the practice squad in Week 15. The 49ers have a lot of options competing at safety, but could still decide to bring in more. Williams seems like a depth/special teams option for the time being, but he’ll be a player to watch in training camp.
Tarvarus McFadden is also an interesting one. The 49ers gave him a decent chunk of guaranteed money, but released him during training camp roster cuts. He was signed to the practice squad in Week 4, released after Week 5, and then signed back to the practice squad in Week 11 where he remained for the rest of the season. I’m not sure what the 49ers think of him, but given how he came and went, this is an important offseason for him.