Niner Noise’s annual “Who Is?” series on 2017 San Francisco 49ers players look at undrafted free-agent offensive lineman Richard Levy and his chances this season.
Former Connecticut offensive lineman Richard Levy was one of a number of undrafted rookies the San Francisco 49ers signed to deals during rookie minicamp in early May.
The 6-foot-6, 316-pound lineman was a three-year starter at UConn, starting off his collegiate career at left tackle. According to David Fucillo of Niners Nation, Levy’s coaches thought a move to guard would make him a better candidate for NFL consideration.
Undrafted free agents often are long shots to make the roster. Such is likely the case for Levy, especially with some added competition along San Francisco’s offensive line.
San Francisco 49ers
Regardless, let’s take a look whether or not Levy might have something to offer this season and what his prognosis would be for sticking around a while.
Why He’ll Improve
There aren’t a lot of scouting reports on Levy, although it’s possible to draw some likable conclusions.
One of those is to consider the high amount of rushing yards UConn gained his senior season. According to his collegiate team bio, the Huskies rushed for over 100 yards six times and even had a 200-yard rushing effort in their season opener.
A strong running game is something head coach Kyle Shanahan will covet this season. And it’s an element in which San Francisco’s O-line was poor a year ago.
This video, courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com — Levy is No. 71 and primarily lines up at left guard — illustrates Levy’s run-blocking capabilities. At guard, it’s possible to view Levy executing outside-zone runs — the same kind Shanahan will use with the 49ers:
This could translate over well, scheme-wise, to what the Niners will want to do this season.
Why He’ll Regress
While Levy looks solid enough in run support, he’s far from ideal in pass protection. His frame is such that he doesn’t exactly move well in space, as seen in the above video, which sets him up as a liability for inside pass-rushing moves.
This is also a problem in space, where Levy’s footwork struggles.
As a zone-style fit, this is where Levy could run into some trouble. Extending blocks beyond the point of attack isn’t much of a strength either.
In all likelihood, Levy won’t do too well in an advanced-level blocking scheme or one involving a pass-heavy offense.
What to Expect in 2017
The Niners already have last year’s starters at guard, Zane Beadles and Joshua Garnett, in the mix for 2017. And the team added veterans Jeremy Zuttah, Brandon Fusco and Tim Barnes as well, not to mention a number of other O-line UDFA additions.
More from Niner Noise
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
- Updated 49ers salary cap space ahead of 2023 NFL Draft
Levy’s chances to make the 53-man roster are almost null considering this, and the rookie doesn’t appear to offer enough to make the cut.
There is the thought Levy could wind up spending his first pro season on the practice squad. But even this is a stretch, considering the O-line competition is stiff.
And there are only so many practice squads to fill.
In all likelihood, Levy is an extra camp body capable of providing third-string depth between now and post-preseason roster cuts. A strong training camp and exhibition period may increase Levy’s chances to stick around, but it’s likely he’ll be on the open market come September.