49ers roster 2024: Shakel Brown has long odds for a regular-season job

Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Terrell Williams watches defensive tackle Shakel Brown
Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Terrell Williams watches defensive tackle Shakel Brown / Mark Zaleski / The Tennessean / USA

The 49ers picked up Shakel Brown early in 2024, but he'll face quite an uphill battle if he hopes to make the 53-man roster this season.

The San Francisco 49ers have had success taking on reclamation projects for their defensive line, turning players who had otherwise been disappointments elsewhere into quality contributors.

That might not end up being the case with defensive lineman Shakel Brown, though.

Granted, Brown didn't exactly enter the NFL with a lot of hype. An undrafted free-agent signing of the Tennessee Titans out of Troy following the 2023 NFL Draft, the 26 year old spent his rookie year on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury during an exhibition bout in August.

Yet to appear in a regular-season game, the Titans subsequently waived Brown in May before the San Francisco 49ers signed him to their offseason roster later that month.

While the Niners are entertaining depth for the interior of their defensive line, Brown doesn't exactly appear to be a top contender to earn a spot on the depth chart in 2024.

What to make of Shakel Brown's roster chances in 2024

True, San Francisco said farewell to longstanding defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw earlier this offseason. But it also grabbed defensive tackles Maliek Collins and Jordan Elliott to play alongside returning veteran Javon Hargrave.

Behind them, the 49ers have an open-ended competition between Evan Anderson, Kalia Davis, Kevin Givens, T.Y. McGill and Sam Okuayinonu.

That puts Brown into a pretty tough spot.

Assuming the Niners keep no more than two reserve interior linemen, the 6-foot-3 and 295-pound Brown would have to beat out nearly every aforementioned backup to stand a chance. In the outside chance of him surviving roster cuts after the preseason, Brown would likely be tabbed as a weekly inactive and little more.

Instead, what'll likely take place is Brown gracing the field as a late-game presence during San Francisco's three exhibition bouts before Week 1, probably hoping to hang around as a practice squad addition.

Or, arguably better for him, putting together enough positive tape to convince another team to sign him to its active roster.

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