Analyzing 49ers' undrafted free agents and how they fit on the roster

Building the roster didn't stop after the NFL Draft was over, with the 49ers signing eight undrafted free agents. Niner Noise takes a look at them and sees how they fit on the roster.
Wisconsin v Minnesota
Wisconsin v Minnesota / David Berding/GettyImages
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Cody Schrader
Missouri v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

Overview for 49ers 2024 UDFA class: Offensive skill players

Tanner Mordecai, Quarterback, Wisconsin

An intriguing signing for the 49ers that has a lot of physical similarities to starting quarterback Brock Purdy, Tanner Mordecai was considered a borderline draftable prospect that was at Oklahoma, SMU and finished at Wisconsin.

There's some attributes about Mordecai that make him an interesting candidate to be the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart. Not just a dink and dunk QB, Mordecai can spiral it down the field, absorb pressure and make plays while having much better athleticism than people might think.

Verdict: The San Francisco 49ers have kept three quarterbacks on the roster in recent years, a strong camp could see Mordecai as an interesting chance to make it to Week 1.

Cody Schrader, Running Back, Missouri

Can lightning strike not only twice, but a third time? Twice in the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era, an undrafted free agent outperformed a drafted player and ended up being the one that stuck on the roster.

For those struggling to place the names, that was Matt Breida over fourth-round pick Joe Williams in 2017 and Jordan Mason over third-round pick Tyrion Davis-Price in 2022. In addition, sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell outperfomed third-round pick Trey Sermon in 2021.

There's a trend, to be clear.

Cody Schrader was a bit of a surprise to be undrafted after running for 1627 yards and 14 touchdowns at 5.9 yards per carry in 2023, but a poor 40-yard time of 4.61 seconds and his 5-foot-8 and 202 pound size didn't excite teams enough to pick him on Day 3. But a tough runner with a low pad level with experience in a zone-blocking scheme? Hmm.

Verdict: Watch with extreme interest.

Terique Owens, Wide Receiver, Missouri State

As the line from Chris Rock in The Longest Yard goes: "We didn't get the whole chocolate bar, but we got a Hershey's Kiss."

There were potentially four 49ers legacies that could have made their way onto the roster, so it wasn't shocking that at least one of the made their way on the roster as Terique Owens (son of Terrell Owens) signed a UDFA contract.

Standing at 6-2 and 200 pounds while running his 40-yard time at 4.51 seconds, he isn't quite his father on the field but he certainly shares his confidence. He recorded 28 receptions for 528 yards and four touchdowns at Missouri State in 2024.

Verdict: Too much of a logjam at receiver ahead of him, but could be a stash option on the practice squad.

Mason Pline, Tight End, Furman

There was some minor surprise the 49ers didn't draft a tight end given how vocal they've been wanting to give George Kittle some help, so it isn't a surprise they dipped into the UDFA pool to boost the depth a bit.

A basketball convert with some size to him at 6-foot-6 and 254 pounds, Pline hasn't yet shown the speed to stretch defense or the physicality to be an exceptional blocker. There's some upside however given he's late to the sport and showed some improvement in 2023 at Furman with 31 receptions for 282 yards and four touchdowns.

Verdict: Hard to see him stick onto the active roster, needs to fight to be a developmental stash option on the practice squad.