No. 1: The 49ers experienced life without Joe Staley this year and may be on the hunt for someone to provide depth or to even start, and Derek Dennis isn’t one to overlook.
If you’re on Twitter, you know how most athletes are. They stay quiet, only post about their charitable events, maybe retweet a highlight or two and the odd time say “happy birthday” to a fan. Former Calgary Stampeder offensive lineman Derek Dennis isn’t cut from the same cloth. He’s extremely active on social media and believes in standing up for himself and his fellow football players.
San Francisco 49ers
Just recently he signed with the XFL’s New York Guardians. So he’s technically not a free agent, but he’s showcasing his talents throughout the spring and the 49ers should be paying attention.
Dennis is a 6-foot-3, 348-pound lineman with a personality double his size. In five seasons between the Stampeders and Roughriders, he played in 72 games. He’s a versatile lineman having played both guard and tackle. His flexibility between the two positions should be a green flag for the 49ers.
The Niners allowed an astonishing 36 sacks on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. If you want to win in this league and be consistent, you must be able to keep your quarterback on his feet. Back in 2016, Dennis and the Stampeders offensive line were unstoppable. They allowed only 20 sacks on the quarterback.
Just imagine Garoppolo not having to take an additional 16 sacks.
As we all witnessed during the 2019 season, the 49ers love to run. Dennis’ style of play would allow him to quickly adapt to the Kyle Shanahan offense. According to TSN, Dennis is an extremely effective run blocker. Not the best at pass-blocking, however.
Dennis is extremely strong. He used to hold off some of the CFL’s best defensive lineman and linebackers. He also won a Grey Cup with Calgary in 2018. In the championship year, the Stamps offense rushed for 14 touchdowns while accumulating 1,790 yards on the ground.
This upcoming XFL experience for Dennis will showcase everything he’s about. A great personality in the locker room, engaging with the fans and proving he can be worth a roster spot in the NFL.
The 49ers have had success signing players from other leagues before. It’s certainly worth a shot again to improve the roster with minimal cap space.