49ers undrafted free agents who could steal a roster spot at training camp

Undrafted free agents always face an uphill climb when it comes to making a 53-man roster.

But these three undrafted Niners could end up overachieving in year one.

Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader (7)
Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader (7) / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The 49ers reportedly have deals in place with eight undrafted free agents, and these three could surprise by landing a spot on the 53-man roster.

Being an undrafted free agent on a stacked Super Bowl-caliber team like the San Francisco 49ers isn't an ideal situation.

After all, the Niners had notably few open roster spots heading into the 2024 NFL Draft, and there are arguably only reserve and backup jobs up for grabs.

Still, general manager John Lynch had to get the team's 90-man roster fully populated, which meant signing eight undrafted players to deals immediately after San Francisco concluded its 2024 draft efforts by selecting a total of eight players there.

Here's the list of those undrafted free agents the 49ers reportedly have deals with.

Most (if not all) of those UDFAs will fail to make the Niners' 53-man roster right away. If anything, their best hope might be to crack the team's practice squad, if they aren't signed by another team in advance of Week 1, once the preseason concludes.

However, these three undrafted prospects could actually surprise as dark-horse candidates to carve out a niche on San Francisco's regular-season roster.

Defensive lineman Evan Anderson (Florida Atlantic)

The 49ers opted not to draft a defensive lineman in 2024, which seems strange, given their prior history of doing so early.

While the edge-rushing spots appear set with Nick Bosa, Leonard Floyd, Yetur Gross-Matos and Drake Jackson in tow, the interior of the line behind Javon Hargrave and Maliek Collins is a lot more fluid, allowing for someone like Florida Atlantic's Evan Anderson.

The 6-foot-3, 356-pound Anderson reportedly received a contract with $280,000 in guaranteed money, per NFL insider Aaron Wilson, which is a lot of cash for a UDFA:

That money won't guarantee him a roster spot. But, for someone who recorded 5.5 sacks in his final collegiate year, it certainly gives him a leg up on his competition.

Running back Cody Schrader (Missouri)

On the surface, it would appear as if undrafted rookie Cody Schrader would have only the slightest chance of cracking the Niners' 53-man roster right away.

After all, San Francisco already has the reigning Offensive Player of the Year in Christian McCaffrey, supported by returnees like Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason. The 49ers then added special teams ace Patrick Taylor Jr. before using a fourth-round pick on Isaac Guerendo.

However, of the veterans, only McCaffrey seems like a sure thing. Mitchell is oft-injured, Mason has been decent but little more, and Taylor could easily be an afterthought.

Simply put, there's room for someone like Schrader to make an impact, as AtoZ Sports' Nicholas McGee wrote:

"A bruising runner renowned for a punishing style that consistently saw him gain yardage after contact, Schrader was given an early seventh-round grade by A to Z Sports' James Fosterand a fifth to sixth-round grade by Dane Brugler of The Athletic.

Yet somehow a back who, per Pro Football Focus, was tied ninth among backs in the class with 51 missed tackles forced last season was completely neglected by the league, allowing the Niners to swoop in."

Perhaps Schrader winds up being the 49ers' latest undrafted running back gem.

Tight end Mason Pline (Furman)

If the Niners' running back situation is fluid behind McCaffrey, the situation behind All-Pro tight end George Kittle is precarious.

After losing Charlie Woerner and Ross Dwelley to free agency, San Francisco inked journeyman veteran Eric Saubert while hoping that second-year pros Cameron Latu and Brayden Willis can somehow emerge after a non-impactful 2023.

That's a big "maybe."

Small-school tight end Mason Pline out of Furman didn't generate much pre-draft buzz, although he did manage 31 receptions for 282 yards with four touchdowns in 2023, suggesting he might be a candidate for a back-end-of-the-roster spot.

One that could be made much easier if players like Latu and/or Willis fail to impress in training camp.

Read more from Niner Noise