Six UDFAs to watch in training camp for potential 49ers impact originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers have a stacked roster but there are a few undrafted free agent (UDFA) rookies to keep your eye on during training camp.
Most skill positions on the 49ers roster have defined starters in place along with their 2022 draft picks who will be expected to contribute. Still, general manager John Lynch the rest of the 49ers front office saw enough important qualities in their UDFAs to bring them to Santa Clara.
Here are a few to keep your eyes on once the team reconvenes on July 26th for training camp:
6-foot-4, 300 pounds
There were many draft experts who thought West was a Day 3 draft pick, but for unknown reasons that did not come to fruition. The former Sun Devil is now in a great environment to learn without the pressure of needing to play immediately.
West might have been the 49ers long-term plan to replace Alex Mack at center when they were under the impression that he was going to play through the 2022 season. West is rather raw but has potential to be a contributor on the offensive line down the line.
6-foot-1, 300 pounds
Poe is another offensive lineman that could contribute in the longterm for the 49ers. The former fullback is athletic and versatile, which is an attribute Kyle Shanahan looks for in all of his players.
With uncertainty on the interior of the offensive line in 2022, Poe could have a chance to show what he is capable of during training camp. His stout body type and mobility could be something that helps him carve out a role on the team.
6-foot-1, 210 pounds
O’Neal will provide some competition at the safety position but ultimately will be adjusting to the speed of the NFL. This could put the young safety in the perfect position for his future with the team, being able to learn from veteran Jimmie Ward.
The Aggie defensive back has seen challenges at minicamp, getting beaten by Trey Lance on a deep pass to Jordan Matthews, and was in coverage with Ambry Thomas and Tayler Hawkins on a second deep pass to Ray Ray McCloud. O’Neal impressed by bouncing back a few plays later intercepting a Lance pass intended for KeeSean Johnson.
6-foot-1, 225 pounds
As a three-year starter and team captain at North Carolina, Gemmel possesses the leadership you look for from a player on and off the field. The young linebacker was consistently involved in the defense, finishing second in tackles in both his junior and senior seasons.
Gemmel will now learn from the best in the business in Fred Warner and Johnny Holland. He'll have plenty opportunities to show what he can do during training camp and beyond.
5-foot-11, 223 pounds
The young running back already has the attention of his position coach Anthony Lynn, who believes Mason will turn heads even more once the pads go on in training camp. The Yellowjacket ball carrier is likely to get quite a few reps during training camp with the club knowing what they have in its veterans -- Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., JaMycal Hasty and Trey Sermon.
Mason making the 53-man roster is a long shot. But if there is any coach who has helped make UDFA running backs successful in the NFL, it’s Shanahan. Mason is a larger back who could prove to be valuable in the future when they need a goal line or third-down power back.
6-foot-2, 190 pounds
Another UDFA who could get a decent amount of reps in training camp while veterans get their rest is Mack. The long-framed wideout flashed in his last season at Pitt, catching 461 passes for 461 yards, giving him 17.1 yard per reception average.
Mack has his work cut out for him in a deep group that includes Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud and Danny Gray. It is also an ideal situation for the Pitt product to grow and learn.