While all the hype has been centered around San Francisco 49ers undrafted rookie free-agent WR DeAndrew White for most of training camp, it was interesting to see him only being targeted twice in the team’s first preseason game.
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A player that has quickly been making a name for himself with his acrobatic one-handed catches and savvy route-running, I truly believe that White will make the 53-man roster despite a less than stellar preseason debut.
A bold prediction I’m making is that WR DeAndrew White will make the 53-man roster. #Alabama
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) August 13, 2015
Below are three reasons why I believe the player known as ‘Alabama’ will crack the roster and solidify his spot despite going undrafted.
1. Versatility Analysis: 49ers’ GM Trent Baalke absolutely covets versatility. The more you can do the more valuable you are to the team. Luckily for White he not only excels at the wide-receiver position but also adds value in the return-game.
White can play special-teams as a gunner and will make some noise during this week’s preseason game. — Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) August 13, 2015
A player who has exceptional speed, vision, and hips to make tacklers miss on the drop of a dime, White will surely wow the Forever Faithful this preseason as he runs crisp routes, while exploding in and out of his breaks off the stem.
Look for White to showcase his skills this week against the Dallas Cowboys, as he will have his fair share of targets while breaking a huge run in the return-game all while being a valuable special-teams gunner in the game of field-position.
2. Baalke Stays Ahead of the Game…
Analysis: Baalke always looks at the bigger picture and tries to stay one step ahead as general manager. He proved it most recently with the selection of rookie first-round pick (No. 17) DE Arik Armstead, as he drafted the Oregon product despite already having penciled starters DE Quinton Dial and DE Glenn Dorsey, and he did it again in the second-round with the selection of SS Jaquiski Tartt when the team already had FS Eric Reid and SS Antoine Bethea.
49ers WR Anquan Boldin is in the last year of his contract and I highly doubt he will return to the 49ers for a fourth season. If Baalke goes down this path then he will surely be thinking about next season and one player who can start opposite of WR Torrey Smith in 2016 is White.
White is too valuable at this point for the team to let him go, and as a result Baalke will roll the dice on keeping six wide-receivers on the roster for the second consecutive season.
3. 49ers will keep six WR’s
Analysis: Last year the team kept six wide-receivers on the 53-man roster and I fully expect them to do that again this season. WR Anquan Boldin, WR Torrey Smith, WR Bruce Ellington, WR Quinton Patton, and WR Jerome Simpson will likely all make the team and so will White. If past behavior is any indication of the future than White will make the roster and I believe he will.