While most teams’ undrafted free-agent signings aren’t that interesting, the 49ers actually came away with a pretty lofty haul in 2022.
Frequently, it’s a futile effort to get out in the weeds about undrafted free agents in the days and weeks following the NFL Draft. Sure, the unknowns about any college prospects are always enticing, and there’s no shortage of tales about how a UDFA player went from a “nobody” into a household name within a few short years.
Enough of that, though.
OK, not totally. But it was an impressive haul nonetheless.
Sure, every one of these UDFAs will face a longer road than draftees to cracking the Niners’ 53-man roster right away. That’s just the nature of being an undrafted player.
Most won’t make the cut. At least not in year one. However, keep tabs on these four UDFA players throughout minicamps, OTAs and training camp.
49ers UDFA No. 4: LB Jeremiah Gemmel, North Carolina
San Francisco didn’t exactly have a need for a linebacker in the 2022 draft, so it’s understandable it passed on one through all seven rounds. Especially with Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair poised to return and handle effectively two spots on sub packages this season.
However, the fast-moving and high-intensity linebacker, Jeremiah Gemmel out of North Carolina, should be a fun prospect to watch during offseason activities.
Gemmel was frequently around the ball during his time with the Tar Heels, finishing his collegiate tenure with 236 total tackles, 20 of them going for a loss, during his three years as a starter, and fans should end up appreciating how he plays with a red-hot motor.
A bit undersized at 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds to take on bigger blockers, what will stand out about him is his ability to diagnose run plays and swarm to the ball-carrier with exceptional speed.
While the 49ers have their starting trio of base-down linebackers already, Gemmel should easily be able to compete for a spot on the depth chart, provided he can perform admirably enough on special teams.