49ers Practice Squad Mixes Young Potential and Established Veterans

GETTY Former Tennessee Titans S Johnathan Cyprien is the most experienced member on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.

After narrowing down the San Francisco 49ers roster on Saturday, the team now has all 16 of its practice squad members.

The team didn’t waste very long getting the group signed, with all 16 spaces on the practice squad being taken up by players who were previously on the 49ers’ untrimmed roster.

  • WR River Cracraft
  • S Johnathan Cyprien
  • DL Darrion Daniels
  • OL Hroniss Grasu
  • TE Chase Harrell
  • CB Tim Harris Jr.
  • RB JaMycal Hasty
  • FB Josh Hokit
  • WR Jauan Jennings
  • CB Dontae Johnson
  • DL Dion Jordan
  • S Jared Mayden
  • OL Dakoda Shepley
  • OL William Sweet
  • LB Joe Walker
  • WR Kevin White

The group features a mix of veterans and young potential, and with NFL teams able to promote two players for gamedays in 2020, the team has an array of options should they need to mix things up.

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Veterans

Notable names like Dion Jordan, Johnathan Cyprien, Hroniss Grasu and Kevin White immediately jump out to you, mostly because it wouldn’t be out of place for any of those players to be on an NFL team’s actual 53-man roster.

Before injury sat Cyprien out all of 2018, the 30-year-old was a consistent starter with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, starting 70 games over five seasons.

Considering that the safety group is arguably the weak link of the 49ers defense, although it’s a stretch to call it “weak,” Cyprien will be a name to watch in terms of potential promotion.

Looking elsewhere on the defense, the lack of depth behind edge-rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa means a guy like Jordan will also be in the conversation throughout the season for promotion.

As for Grasu, he could be a dark horse for Week 1. Weston Richburg is on the PUP list and out for the first six weeks of the season, and with backup center Ben Garland still recovering from a sprained ankle, Grasu may end up being the team’s starter against the Arizona Cardinals.

Rookies

The 49ers were very high on the group of undrafted free agents and rookies they assembled this year, which shows as receiver Jauan Jennings and running backs JaMycal Hasty and Josh Hokit are sticking around with the 49ers after roster cuts.

Hasty and Hokit faced a tall order with a five-man backfield in front of them, but considering that injury issues is how lead back Raheem Mostert made his name last year, either of the 49ers rookies could get an opportunity to contribute this season.

Jennings faced a similarly tough challenge with a hyper-competitive group of receivers, and his massive frame and athleticism does provide something a little different than what most of the others offer, so it’s a solid addition to have him available when needed.

The other rookie name to watch is former Alabama safety Jared Mayden, who impressed at training camp but not enough to force his way onto the main roster. A developmental player who only got better with experience with the Crimson Tide, Mayden will continue to work and possibly be called up should injury strike.

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Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the NFL for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.

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