49ers 2020 ‘Who Is?’ series: Kofi Amichia to develop into reserve role?

Kofi Amichia #79 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Kofi Amichia #79 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The 49ers liked Kofi Amichia before, so can he carve out a role in 2020?

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line underwent plenty of changes during the offseason, yet former South Florida offensive lineman Kofi Amichia doesn’t figure to be a substantial part of this unit’s formation in the regular season.

As far as the Niners O-line goes, the team bid farewell to veteran left tackle Joe Staley via retirement and parted ways with starting right guard Mike Person. Veteran guard Tom Compton is now in the ranks, along with perennial Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams, but there are still more than a handful of depth questions.

Particularly within the interior even after San Francisco selected West Virginia’s Colton McKivitz in the 2020 NFL Draft.

That said, the 49ers did have initial interest with Amichia before he was eventually selected by the Green Bay Packers in Round 6 of the 2017 NFL Draft, holding a pre-draft workout for him and envisioning the former collegiate tackle as a guard or center.

Amichia spent 2017 in Green Bay but didn’t make the cut the following year, being added to the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad in 2018 and then joining the Carolina Panthers briefly in 2019 before the Niners signed him to their own practice squad in December of last year.

Entering 2020, it doesn’t look like Amichia has a great shot of making the 53-man roster. With a strong camp, however, perhaps there’s an outside chance.

Why Kofi Amichia improves with the 49ers in 2020

Amichia’s versatility could be his greatest asset, as he played both tackle spots in college before being asked to switch inside at the pro level.

At 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, this probably suits him best.

There’s also a good deal to like with his athleticism. Back at his pro day in 2017, Amichia ran a 4.99 40-yard time, which is pretty darned solid for an offensive lineman who are usually north of the 5.0 mark. And he also boated the top SPARQ score for all O-linemen in that year’s draft, too.

Amichia was also touted for his run blocking at the college level. Given head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense is still run-first oriented, identifying the fit isn’t hard to do. But it isn’t as if Amichia is solely a run blocker, as his 98.2 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking efficiency in 2016 can suggest.

If Amichia adds some functional strength, the pieces could come together nicely in 2020.

Why Kofi Amichia regresses with 49ers in 2020

There’s always a question mark surrounding players who bounce around from team to team, especially considering both the Packers and Panthers had O-line problems in recent years.

On one hand, he remains a sought-after commodity. But the value on his services hasn’t been very high at any particular point since the 2017 draft.

Amichia hasn’t played any regular-season games at the pro level. And his efforts in 2016 were limited by a knee injury, which could have hindered his early development. Plus, it doesn’t appear as if Amichia can add a lot of functional strength to his frame without hindering his athleticism.

And with plenty of other bodies on the 49ers roster ahead of him, he’ll have a tough time earning those valuable first- and second-team reps in training camp.

Chances Kofi Amichia makes 49ers’ 53-man roster in 2020

Well, they’re slight. No other way around that.

Compton, McKivitz, Ben Garland and Ross Reynolds are just some of the potential depth names on San Francisco’s roster with whom Amichia will be competing, and it’s a safe bet to assume the latter is behind them on the depth chart. Changes in the league’s collective bargaining agreement this year allow two players to be promoted from the practice squad on game day, provided one of them is an O-lineman, but 2020 would mark Amichia’s fourth year at the pro level.

Barring a ton of injury attrition during camp and the preseason, the likeliest of outcomes is seeing Amichia as a second-half player over the first three exhibition bouts with some extended looks in the fourth and final preseason game.

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While there’s always the chance he thrives in Shanahan’s offense, it appears as if Amichia will be looking for a new home in September of 2020 unless the Niners deem him fit as a solid reserve figure.