5 changes 49ers must implement over second half of 2021
By Peter Panacy
No. 4: 49ers must pluck players off other teams’ practice squads
The state of the Niners’ current roster surely leaves a lot to be concerned about, as is the case with most sub-.500 teams this deep into the regular season.
It’s a bit surprising this isn’t a strategy of more bad teams, especially those heavily reliant on underperforming veterans. But, as is the case with late-round NFL Draft picks where hidden gems can be found, there’s also a good deal of hidden talent buried on other teams’ practice squads.
Perhaps it’s a player completely pushed out by loads of talent ahead of him on a 53-man roster. Maybe a player is simply in the wrong scheme. Whatever.
Either way, San Francisco can afford to sign practice squad players to its 53-man roster to see if there can be some hidden-gem help there. And if you’re looking for a few names who might help, here you go:
- TE Stephen Sullivan, Carolina Panthers
- WR Brandon Smith, Dallas Cowboys
- DB Kiondre Thomas, Los Angeles Chargers
- DE Earnest Brown, Los Angeles Rams
- DB Bryce Thompson, New Orleans Saints
- WR Tyler Vaughns, Pittsburgh Steelers
All first- and second-year players. And each could fill a potential depth void the 49ers have while potentially (even if it’s a long shot) turning into a long-term find.
Of course, this would mean clearing out some unneeded players to free up roster spots, but that’s doable, too.