The Niners will begin to put together their practice squad starting today
Kyle’s update, 9:47 a.m.: The 49ers have signed Jordan Matthews to their practice squad, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. This gives Matthews a chance to continue to work on his craft. He struggled as a blocker, but that’s to be expected given what he was asked to do as a receiver.
The Niners can afford to be patient with Matthews and see if he turns into a quality backup tight end.
The 49ers have their initial 53-man roster set. The team can put together a 17-man practice squad — it’s 17 instead of 16 as the team has a roster exemption for OT Alfred Gutierrez, assuming he passes through waivers — starting today. With over 800 players becoming available, the pool of players to select from is deep.
How the 49ers decide to take advantage of the practice squad rules will be interesting, especially how the current roster is constructed. According to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, the Niners want these players back:
- FB Josh Hokit
- WR Travis Benjamin
- WR Nsimba Webster
- G Senio Kelemete
- LB Justin Hilliard
- CB Alexander Myres
- C Jake Brendel
- QB Nate Sudfeld
That’s half of the practice squad. If true, San Francisco has the offensive side of the ball taken care of.
The NFL released its waiver claims on Wednesday morning, and a few of the players listed above have been claimed by other teams.
- Webster – Bears
- Hilliard – Giants
- Dakoda Shepley – Seahawks
Kyle Shanahan mentioned that he wanted to add speed as he felt like the team lacked in that area. While Benjamin provides that, younger players you may develop like recently released Packers wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown would be a player that might interest the Niners. Former Cardinals and Ravens wideout John Brown is another, though I don’t think he’s the player he once was.
Myres played well in the preseason, but he’s only one defensive back. I’d expect the team to add a couple of more DBs. Who they bring in will tell us how they feel about their rookie cornerbacks performed during training camp.
We’ll use this as the practice squad tracker and update any signings and rumors as they come in.