We’re continuing our roster rankings leading up to the 2020 season for the San Francisco 49ers. Here are the players ranked from 90-81, and here are the rankings from 80-71. Let’s keep the rankings going, starting with someone that might be familiar to many of you.
70) CB Jermaine Kelly
The Texans drafted Kelly in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He missed his rookie year after being placed on the injured reserved list and was eventually released before the 2019 regular season. At 6’1”, 204 pounds, Kelly has great size for a cornerback. Kelly ran a 4.52 40-yard dash, had a 34” vertical, and a 7.07 3-cone. Kelly did run a 4.68 short shuttle, which is significantly below average.
Kelly was added to the 49ers’ practice squad in December. At San Jose State, after transferring from Washington, Kelly appeared in 25 games (17 starts) and registered 79 tackles, 18 passes defended, two fumble recoveries, and one interception (returned for a touchdown.)
69) S Jared Mayden
The undrafted free agent Mayden started his career as a cornerback, so the positional versatility is there. Though Mayden played free safety for Alabama, he looked much more comfortable near the line of scrimmage so he could use his physicality. Mayden said he would run a sub 4.45 40-yard at his Pro Day, but that was canceled due to the global pandemic. Naturally, playing under Nick Saban, Mayden has excellent instincts. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah believed Mayden should have been drafted in the fourth round.
68) LB/S Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
Flannigan-Fowles entered the league out of Arizona as a safety, but the press release when Flannigan-Fowles was signed San Francisco listed him as a linebacker. He played 44 snaps during the preseason—28 snaps were at free safety. Not that the designation matters, but perhaps the 49ers see Flannigan-Fowles as a player that can bulk up and play linebacker in the future. At the time, his weight was 209 pounds.
67) WR Chris Thompson
Thompson was waived in August and signed back with the team’s practice squad in December. The 6’0”, 175-pound receiver went to Florida and was an undrafted free agent in 2017. He never really did much as a Gator, where he had nine receptions for 78 yards in 41 games.
66) CB Teez Tabor
Tabor is no longer with us after being injured during a viral workout, though he’s expected to be ready by Week 1. I ranked him No. 88 on this list. Forgive me for not believing in cornerbacks that run a 4.8 40-yard dash.
65) WR Shawn Poindexter
Poindexter has a lot of fans on the 49ers coaching staff as he can win down the field on jump balls and, at 6’5”, 214 pounds, is a quarterback friendly target. Poindexter’s frame will help keep him on the practice squad, but he has to stay healthy and start to show more than flashes of potential. He tore his ACL in late August of 2019, but was in Nashville with the rest of the wideouts in June and looked to be fully recovered.
64) S DeMarkus Acy
Acy ran a 4.45 at his Pro Day. In 2018, Acy was an All-SEC performer. Acy is at his best when he can play underneath and use his physicality against bigger wide receivers. Speed and athleticism are where Acy standouts, and he will make plays on special teams if there is a preseason. Acy is one of the players that will see his stock hurt due to the lack of preseason games.
63) RB Salvon Ahmed
Ahmed ran a 4.62 40-yard dash, but his 1.56 10-yard split was in the 82nd percentile. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with Ahmed as I was with the other UDFA RB that we’ll get to. There was enough speed to break long runs, and Ahmed will benefit in the 49ers running scheme, but there wasn’t that “sudden burst,” and Ahmed didn’t really show the elusiveness that other runners on the team have.
62) LB Mark Nzeocha
The special teamer looks like he’s going to be a victim of the 49ers youth movement when it comes to cuts. We’ve seen more athletic linebackers being brought in, or players like Flannigan-Fowles who are converting from another position. Nzeocha turned 30 this offseason and really didn’t do enough to stand out, aside from one big splash play last year. San Franciso can save $1.5 million by releasing him with zero dead money.
61) RB JaMycal Hasty
From a fit standpoint, Hasty was much better than Ahmed to me. Unlike Ahmed, Hasty can make you miss. He forced 22 missed tackles on 134 touches last season at Baylor. Also, 419 of his 814 yards came after contract. Out of the backfield, Hasty is a legitimate receiving threat. Depending on how this Raheem Mostert situation plays out, Hasty may find himself making the roster. Hasty jumped 39” in the vertical, and his 1.53 10-yard split was in the 93rd percentile. Hasty feels like an insurance for Jerick McKinnon.