49ers roster: 4 UDFAs who could actually make 53-man squad this year

Linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Mason, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Jordan Mason (27) Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers UDFA No. 2: Running back Jordan Mason

The 49ers seem to have a knack for identifying and then developing lesser-known running backs under head coach Kyle Shanahan. And while they haven’t always gotten their draft picks right here (see Joe Williams from 2017), they’ve made up for it with hidden gem finds like Matt Breida, an undrafted free agent in 2017, and Elijah Mitchell, a sixth-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Niners spent a third-round pick on former LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in this year’s draft, yes, and he joins a crowded halfback room that includes Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., JaMycal Hasty and last year’s Round 3 selection, Trey Sermon.

Also in the mix is another UDFA, Georgia Tech’s Jordan Mason, who was arguably one of the biggest standouts out of anybody during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp.

Check out two OTA reports from Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn in observance of Mason:

"[Mason] had the longest run of the day — a 70-yard touchdown. Mason exploded through the tackles and ran away from the 49ers’ defensive pursuit. Impressive."

And from the second week:

"Had a beautiful run during which he quickly cut back and made a defender miss in the backfield. Mason is extremely quick for a big, short-yardage specialist."

Standing out early in practices is one way to get on Shanahan’s good side during training camp, and the 5-foot-11, 223-pound tailback who rushed for 2,349 yards and 17 touchdowns during his four-year collegiate career could shake things up a lot on San Francisco’s running back depth chart if he makes the cut.