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Former British Olympian Lawrence Okoye has been given a shot to make an impact with the 49ers.
In the wake of the draft, there is usually a rush from teams scrambling to sign multitudes of undrafted free agents that slipped through the draft.
Yet the 49ers do not need to take a significant look at undrafted free agents whose names were not called upon during the draft. As stated before, San Francisco already has a loaded roster with the majority of their starters and backups already locked for the upcoming season.
However, if one thing is certain, it is the fact that Jim Harbaugh loves competition and will not hesitate to provide it at virtually every position.
Currently, the 49ers have signed two of these free agents, one of which is British Olympian Lawrence Okoye. Okoye, who has never played football at any level, can at least bring other tremendous attributes to the 49ers.
Sports Xchange's Derek Harper describes how the 49ers got their hands on him:
Okoye blew up the workout, was invited to another regional combine in Dallas, vaulted up draft boards in recent weeks despite having never played a down of football but ultimately went undrafted. He landed in a good spot with the 49ers, who have a loaded roster and spent several of their 11 draft picks on boom-or-bust type prospects. (via cbssports.com)
If anything, Okoye may prove to be a decent addition at something. What that something is though will remain uncertain. He has the physical abilities to provide an impact, but will the extreme lack of experience cost him a starting job in 2013?
Okoye will not be starting in 2013. The odds of him finding a starting job are 15-to-1 in my book which is being generous and recognizing his physical skill set. He has far too much to learn even if he is playing under the tutelage of one of the top coaching contingents in the NFL today. Fortunately, however, he will at least provide some competition and maybe even work his way onto the depth chart... somewhere.
In addition, the 49ers invited quarterback Nate Montana, son of the 49ers' venerable Hall of Famer, to their rookies' minicamp. He is, however, an unsigned free agent and considering his less-than-stellar collegiate career, it is unlikely that San Francisco will even sign him giving the junior Montana a 10-to-1 shot of being signed let alone starting. If he is signed, the practice squad would be calling.
Former Azusa Pacific offensive tackle Luke Marquardt was recently signed by the 49ers. Yet for a player coming out of a school not typically linked to top-tier NFL prospects, it is a long shot that Marquardt would make the 53-man roster. Even if he did, Marquardt would probably best be served as a backup on the offensive line. He also is still recovering from a foot injury that hampered his senior year. Yet the 49ers appear to be interested in developing the young tackle into an effective piece down the road (sfgate.com). For now however, I give Marquardt a 15-to-1 shot of earning a starting position, which banks on an impressive training camp and injury recovery combined with a multitude off injuries that could impact the offensive line.
Other names have also been linked to the 49ers including long snapper Kevin McDermott, guard Patrick Omameh, quarterback MarQueis Gray, center Sherman Carter, cornerback Darryl Morris, wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, defensive tackle Mike Purcell, fullback Alex Debniak and running back D.J. Harper. Considering the already established depth San Francisco has at each of these positions, it would be extremely unlikely that any of them would have a starting job, let alone a spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster.
In addition, San Francisco has yet to sign any of these undrafted free agents despite the rumored interest. Yet competition, being what it is, may be worth watching during training camp.