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49ers sign former first-round defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche

A depth signing with upside

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

With training camp a week away, we’ll likely see some changes to the bottom of the 49ers roster. According to Brad Graham of The SF Niners, San Francisco is signing former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche.

Nkemdiche played 219 snaps over nine games with the Seattle Seahawks last year. He finished the season with 16 tackles, with two of those going for a loss. Nkemdiiche sat out of the 2020 season. Before that, he played 16 snaps in two games with the Miami Dolphins.

Before joining Miami, Nkemdiche was on his rookie deal with the Arizona Cardinals, where he had a career year in 2018 but produced very little outside of that season.

There isn’t any word just yet on Nkemdiche’s contract, but it’s likely to be for one year and the veteran minimum. And while it’s easy to scoff at the signing, the 49ers are a gold mine when it comes to turning former first-rounders or defensive linemen with talent into productive players — Arden Key is a prime example.

There’s no guarantee that Nkemdiche will make the roster. One worry might be that Javon Kinlaw or another defensive line member isn’t fully healthy. Why else would you add a nearly 300-pound man a week before training camp? Then again, this could be the team taking a flyer on an athletic defensive lineman, because having 11 capable players wasn’t enough.

Here’s the 49ers defensive line with the addition of Nkemdiche: Nick Bosa, Kemoko Turay, Charles Omenihu, Samson Ebukam, Drake Jackson Jordan Willis, Dee Ford, and Kerry Hyder.

And along the interior, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Hassan Ridgeway, Maurice Hurst, Kevin Givens, Kevin Atkins, and Kalia Davis, to go along with Nkemdiche.

There will be multiple NFL players that don’t make the roster.