San Francisco 49ers: 5 UDFAs with best chance to make 53-man roster

DeMarkus Acy #17 of the Missouri Tigers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
DeMarkus Acy #17 of the Missouri Tigers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Darrion Daniels, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Defensive tackle Darrion Daniels #79 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /

It’s not easy for undrafted free agents to make the roster, but the 49ers could see these five undrafted rookies make the cut in 2020.

The San Francisco 49ers have had some nice luck with their crop of undrafted free-agent additions over the past few years.

In 2017, the Niners added former Georgia Southern running back Matt Breida and former Eastern Washington wide receiver Kendrick Bourne following that year’s NFL Draft, and both Breida and Bourne were integral pieces for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad the past three seasons.

San Francisco selected just five players during the 2020 NFL Draft, yet general manager John Lynch and Co. added 10 more players who went undrafted.

Some of these players could have been selected on day three of the draft, so the 49ers getting some of these names as UDFAs could be considered steals.

As long as those players pan out to hopeful expectations.

Granted, the road to a 53-man roster is always tougher for undrafted rookies. There are fewer chances and lower expectations, and most are pegged for, at most, reserve or backup duties early in their respective careers. Many are considered mere roster “fillers” or hopeful additions to a team’s practice squad.

For these five players, however, they stand as good a chance as any to crack San Francisco’s 53-man roster in year one.

No. 5: 49ers Defensive Tackle Darrion Daniels

Run-stuffing defensive tackles are fairly easy a commodity to find, and it’s a good thing the Niners didn’t use one of their few picks in the NFL Draft to grab one.

But there was a need to find a reserve behind the starting nose tackle, D.J. Jones, particularly after veteran defensive tackle Sheldon Day departed the team in free agency during the offseason.

Jones is the unquestioned starter, and his squatty 6-foot-0, 305-pound frame epitomizes what coordinator Robert Saleh wants in his base-down 1-technique lineman.

While he’s a bit taller, standing at 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, former Nebraska defensive tackle Darrion Daniels could solidify a role as Jones’ primary backup on the regular-season roster.

Daniels wasn’t much of a pass-rusher during his years at both Nebraska and Oklahoma State, mustering a total of 2.5 sacks over five years. But his run-stuffing abilities are good enough to at least warrant some consideration as a decent backup for the 49ers’ defensive line interior.