49ers rookie No. 3: Center Dohnovan West
Usually, undrafted free agents are afterthoughts; mere camp bodies who strive to make the practice squad at best. Occasionally, a handful manage to crack through to a 53-man roster, and even a rarer bunch wind up making a notable impact.
The Niners are now hoping one of their higher-profile UDFA additions, former Arizona State center Dohnovan West, winds up being that next hidden gem.
A surely draftable player who somehow slipped through all seven rounds, West is no longer a stash-and-develop prospect San Francisco can hope turns into a decent backup with a distant chance at starting at some point down the road.
No, the 49ers may need him sooner than later.
This, in light of veteran Pro Bowl center Alex Mack retiring before training camp, shaking up the depth chart and perhaps pushing West’s chances for making the 53-man roster into the limelight a bit more.
The Niners’ immediate post-Mack contingency plan is probably going to be his backup from 2021, Jake Brendel, getting the nod this season. And if that doesn’t work, right guard Daniel Brunskill probably winds up being the choice.
However, West is now poised to potentially take over as an immediate backup to whoever winds up starting at center this season, and that’s important.