<
>

49ers land three of Todd McShay's four best undrafted free agents

Lorenzo Jerome had an impressive Senior Bowl and could have a chance at cracking San Francisco's secondary. AP Photo/Michael Conroy

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As soon as the NFL draft ended last Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers started signing undrafted free agents. On Thursday, they announced their list:

Victor Bolden, WR, Oregon State: Bolden is likely to compete for a role as a slot receiver in what's a crowded group as his size (5-foot-8, 178 pounds) makes it hard on him to work on the perimeter. He had 170 receptions for 1,863 yards and seven touchdowns in his career with the Beavers.

Kendrick Bourne, WR, Eastern Washington: Perhaps overshadowed by more heralded teammate Cooper Kupp, Bourne offered plenty of production in his career as well. He had 211 catches for 3,130 yards and 27 touchdowns in his collegiate career. At 6-1, 203 pounds, Bourne has the ability to play outside the numbers.

Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern: Breida joins a crowded backfield that includes new acquisitions Tim Hightower, Kapri Bibbs and Joe Williams but he brings an impressive resume with him to the Niners. He had 3,740 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns on 6.9 yards per carry in three college seasons.

KD Cannon, WR, Baylor: The No. 4 ranked prospect on Todd McShay's list of the top 10 undrafted free agents, the speedy Cannon was very productive for the Bears. In his three seasons in Waco, Cannon had 195 receptions for 3,113 and 27 touchdowns. He was an early draft entrant and his route running needs work but he had a knack for big plays in college.

John Flynn, OL, Montana State: Flynn was an All Big Sky conference choice in 2016 and 2015 from his spot at guard. Scouting reports indicate he's a better athlete than he gets credit for and like the other offensive linemen on this list, he should have a chance to battle for a roster spot.

Zach Franklin, DB, Washburn: At 5-11, 190 pounds, Franklin can play corner or free safety though he'll probably begin at corner for the Niners. He started 34 straight games to close his career with 109 tackles and four interceptions. Can also return kicks.

Jimmie Gilbert, LB, Colorado: At 6-5, 230 pounds, Gilbert is something of a 'tweener but could play either strong side linebacker or the "Leo" defensive end spot in the Niners' scheme. He comes from an athletic family with a dad who played professional basketball and a mother and sister who played in college. He played in every game in his four-year career, posting 20 sacks, including 10.5 in 2016.

Malik Golden, S, Penn State: Golden played 34 games for the Nittany Lions, finishing with 130 tackles, two interceptions and five passes defended. The Niners need some help at safety but Golden probably has an uphill climb behind the players already on the roster and the next safety on this list.

Evan Goodman, OL, Arizona State: The 6-3, 288-pound Goodman started 23 games at left tackle over his final two seasons with the Sun Devils. Like others on this list, he'll have a chance to win a spot offering depth at tackle.

Cole Hikutini, TE, Louisville: Before landing at Louisville, Hikutini's college tour included one-year stops at a pair of schools in or near the Bay Area. Once he got on the field for the Cardinals, he proved an intriguing fit posting 50 receptions for 668 yards and eight touchdowns last season. A knee injury prevented him from the postseason All Star circuit and probably contributed to his not being drafted. Still, he checks in as the No. 2 player on McShay's list.

Lorenzo Jerome, S, St. Francis (PA): The No. 1 prospect on McShay's list, Jerome was the classic case of a player who was better on tape than he was in workouts. Adding in his small school pedigree, Jerome managed to go undrafted but he is walking into a situation that presents plenty of opportunity after performing well at the Senior Bowl. He had six interceptions, 11 passes defended and 59 tackles in his final college season.

Erik Magnuson, OL, Michigan: Magnuson was first team All Big 10 in 2016 after starting all of the Wolverines' games at right tackle. The Niners could use some depth on the offensive line, though they recently signed Garry Gilliam away from Seattle to help in that regard. Magnuson should have a chance to compete for a roster spot.

Tyler McCloskey, FB, Houston: The Niners made Kyle Juszczyk the highest-paid fullback in the NFL this offseason and it's unlikely they'll keep more than one but this should give McCloskey a chance to get some film out there and potentially catch on to a roster or practice squad. He has played linebacker and tight end as well. He had 39 receptions for 406 yards and five touchdowns for the Cougars.

Nick Mullens, QB, Southern Mississippi: Mullens was a four-year starter in college and threw for 11,994 yards, 87 touchdowns and 46 interceptions in that time. It will be tough to make the roster as the Niners already have Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley penciled into the top two spots and they used a third-round pick on C.J. Beathard, who figures to be No. 3.

Donavin Newsom, LB, Missouri: The 49ers signed a number of linebackers in the offseason then spent a first-round pick on Reuben Foster. Cracking that group will be tough but Newsom will have a chance if he can perform on special teams. He had 111.5 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons and brings enough athleticism to help out in coverage.

Noble Nwachukwu, DE, West Virginia: Nwachukwu didn't play football until his junior year of high school but did well enough to land in Morgantown and become a starter by his sophomore year. He had 12.5 sacks over his final two seasons with the Mountaineers and joins a defensive line that is open to anyone who can offer pass rush help.

Bret Treadway, OL, Lamar: Treadway was considered one of the more athletic interior linemen in this year's class and his proficiency as a zone blocker makes him a natural fit in the 49ers' run game. Making the cut at center will be difficult behind Daniel Kilgore and Jeremy Zuttah but Treadway could surprise if some of his medical concerns and his lack of bulk don't hold him back.

Darrell Williams Jr., OT, Western Kentucky: Like Magnuson, there may be room to wrest away a roster spot with a solid showing in the preseason. He started 41 games for the Hilltoppers and offers some versatility after playing guard and tackle in college.