It’s easy to get enamored with an undrafted free agent class, especially when the team has low expectations. After the 2019 NFL Draft, the 49ers signed ten free agents, and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Kevin Givens are still on the roster today.
Heading into 2022 and fresh off an NFC Championship appearance, the 49ers don’t have nearly the number of holes on its roster as they did a few seasons ago. It’ll be an uphill battle for one player to make the roster as an undrafted free agent, let alone three.
The Athletic identified the best free-agent fit for each team, and, unsurprisingly, an interior offensive lineman was listed for the Niners:
Not only because the 49ers have some retooling to do up front, and not just because I wanted to highlight one of the more unique offensive linemen in the class. But because Poe, who runs a 4.9-second 40 at 300 pounds, fits the athletic profile of a Kyle Shanahan guard. He is, however, only 6 feet. Elite speed, elite burst, elite agility. Let’s see Shanahan work some magic.
If you don’t know much about Poe, you aren’t alone. There aren’t many people going through Mercer’s game film. However, some of his highlights are undeniably entertaining:
I’ve starter digging into 49ers UDFA Jason Poe and I have immediately fallen in love.— Brad (@Graham_SFN) May 2, 2022
I see him profile best at Center due to his size but this is REAL speed for an IOL.
He brings power behind the speed — I personally love IOL like this
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said he received a call from a scout telling him, “you gotta watch this kid Jason Poe.” Here’s what McShay had to say about Poe during a segment on ESPN:
“He was an offensive lineman at Mercer. He’s getting evaluated by teams as a guard/fullback. Yes, you heard me right. A guard/fullback. Why? Because he destroys dudes on pulls. He might be the best pull blocker in this draft. He’s 6’1”, 310 pounds. This guy is a bowling ball out there. Great body control.”
If you think McShay is exaggerating about Poe being a potential fullback, there’s video evidence of him running routes from Poe himself:
Jason Poe C,OG/FB Mercer University— Jason Poe (@jpoe_) April 14, 2022
34 bench (92nd percentile)
4.89 40 (99th)
1.72 10 (90th)
31.5 vertical (89th)
9’3” broad (92nd) @JustinM_NFL @PFF_College @CGSAllStar @RiseNDraft @McShay13 pic.twitter.com/zT2dNiJID6
Look at those percentiles for Poe. We’re dealing with an elite athlete. Sure, he’ll have to get used to the strength of an NFL defensive lineman, but there’s no pressure on Poe to perform right away.
We’re still unsure about the future of center Alex Mack. Nobody knows what to expect at right guard, either. Even as an undrafted free agent, Poe has to beat out the likes of Colton McKivitz, Justin Skule, Jake Brendel, and Keaton Sutherland.
Along the 49ers' offensive line, the starters consist of Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Daniel Brunskill, Jaylon Moore, and Mike McGlinchey. In addition, there will be three or four backups, plus a couple of practice squad spots available. Poe’s athleticism and positional versatility should keep him around for the foreseeable future.