The 49ers are just a couple days from cutting their 80-man roster down to 53 players, but that isn’t stopping them from looking for upgrades.
San Francisco on Sunday worked out six players including two defensive ends, a pair of offensive linemen, one tight end and one wide receiver according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
Here’s who they worked out and whether they can be a factor on the roster:
DE Austin Edwards
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
The Falcons gave Edwards his first crack at the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Ferris State following the 2020 draft. He spent most of his rookie year on the Falcons practice squad before joining the Chiefs’ practice squad in January of 2021. He spent all of last season on the Chiefs’ practice squad before being released during the first round of roster cuts this year. San Francisco could be on the hunt for some defensive end help for their practice squad, which is where Edwards would most likely land.
DE Tyree Johnson
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Johnson went undrafted this year after spending four seasons at Texas A&M. He racked up 18.0 sacks in 40 games with the Aggies, including a career-best 8.0 last season. He signed as a UDFA with the Steelers and was released in early August before preseason games began. He’s another practice squad candidate if the 49ers liked what they saw from the rookie.
OL John Miller
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Miller is a seven-year NFL veteran who’s started all 84 games he’s played since joining the league as a third-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 2015 draft. He was in Buffalo for four years, Cincinnati for one and Carolina for two. His best seasons per Pro Football Focus came in his final two years with the Bills. The 49ers are looking to upgrade the interior of their offensive line and Miller’s experience could make him an asset on a young, unproven front.
OL Tyrese Robinson
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Robinson was a UDFA signing by Washington after this year’s draft. In four years with the University of Oklahoma he started 23 games at right guard and 15 at right tackle. He’s more likely a player the 49ers might aim to get on their practice squad than he is a player San Francisco identified as a possible upgrade over their current options.
TE Dalton Keene
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Keene had a fairly productive three years with Virginia Tech before the Patriots made him a third-round pick in the 2020 draft. He saw action in six games as a rookie and caught three balls for 16 yards. That remains his only regular season experience after knee injuries sidelined him at points in 2020 and for the entire 2021 season. New England waived Keene ahead of the second round of roster cuts this offseason. San Francisco’s TE depth isn’t great so it makes sense they’d see where a former third-round pick is health-wise and whether he could help their offense.
WR Rod Williams
Henry Taylor/The Leaf-Chronicle
Williams’ college career is fascinating. He’s listed on the NFL’s wire as a wide receiver, which he played for his first three college seasons. An injury early in his third year allowed him to redshirt the 2019 campaign. When he returned in 2020 he was a tight end and wound up having two productive years at that position. Perhaps the 49ers see a developmental opportunity with him where he can add some pass-catching ability to their TE group that desperately needs help behind George Kittle in that department.