McNichols was a 2017 fifth-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but struggled during the preseason and was waived during the final round of cuts. He went unclaimed on waivers before signing with the 49ers Sunday.
The 5'9", 214-pound running back turned plenty of heads in college thanks to two highly productive years at Boise State. In the last two seasons, he had 3,980 yards from scrimmage and 53 touchdowns, showing the potential to be an every-down player at the next level.
Unfortunately, the preseason didn't go as planned as he finished with just 79 rushing yards and 24 carries, also making several mistakes in pass-blocking.
"This was a really humbling experience coming in, to be honest," McNichols said after his final preseason game, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. "I really had to dig deep to find who I really am and who I really want to be as a football player."
Although the fact he went unclaimed on waivers also wasn't a great sign, he could have an opportunity to work his way up the depth chart in San Francisco.
The 49ers have an established running back in Carlos Hyde, but projected backup Joe Williams was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. After the team cut veteran Tim Hightower this week, there are few roadblocks preventing McNichols from making an impact in his new location.