San Francisco 49ers: Dax Swanson

The San Francisco 49ers announced six undrafted free agents that they started to agree to terms with shortly after the draft ended Saturday.

There weren't any surprises on the list that is headlined by former Stanford standout linebacker Shayne Skov. He was expected to be a mid-rounder. Skov played for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at Stanford. Here is the complete list:

Morgan Breslin, linebacker, Southern California

Dillon Farrell, center, New Mexico

Kory Faulkner, quarterback, Southern Illinois

Fou Fonoti. tackle, Michigan State

L.J. McCray, defensive back, Catawba

Shayne Skov, linebacker, Stanford

The 49ers are also reportedly set to sign former Miami tight end Asante Cleveland. UPDATE: Cleveland is now signed.

To help make room for these players the 49ers cut three players form their 90-man roster. They are linebacker Darius Fleming, receiver DeMarco Sampson and cornerback Dax Swanson. Fleming was a fifth-round pick in 2012. The only remaining players on the 49ers from that class are running back LaMichael James and guard Joe Looney. Neither have a big role.
No position on the San Francisco 49ers has more uncertainty than cornerback -- and it's not even close.

The team only has one solid starter in place, but there are several players who could emerge. Of course, the 49ers could add a cornerback in a dwindling free-agent market and will surely pick one or two in the May 8-10 draft.

Let's take a look at where the 49ers stand at cornerback:


Tramaine Brock: A year ago, no one would have guess he would be the most reliable cornerback on the team. But Brock made the huge leap from a special teams to the No. 1 cornerback. He was terrific in 2013 and it earned him a four-year contract extension.

Chris Culliver: This is very fluid. The 49ers have confidence in Culliver, but, in a perfect world, he will play the nickel. Culliver, who has proven in the past he can play, missed all of last season with a torn ACL. Still, he's the type of player who would likely be a better No. 3 than a No. 2.

Slot candidates:

Eric Wright: The veteran is talented and has performed well in the past. Yet, he didn't do much last season. It was a mild surprise the 49ers re-signed him to a one-year deal. Wright, who was inactive by the end of the season, has a chance to help if he can gain the coaching staff's trust.

Chris Cook: He is the 49ers' lone offseason addition at the position so far. Cook, a second-round pick by Minnesota in 2010, has struggled at times -- on and off the field. But there are some positives; he's 6-foot-2 and the team wants him to play in press coverage. Also, he came at a cheap price, getting paid the league minimum with no bonus. Perhaps the light will come on with strong coaching.

Young players with potential:

Darryl Morris: He opened eyes on special teams as an undrafted rookie last season. Coaches think he can help on defense, too.

Dax Swanson: He's a practice-squad player who will get a chance to impress in training camp.


Tarell Brown: Brown, a starter much of last season, went across the bay to Oakland for a one-year, $3.5 million deal. The 49ers wanted him back, but not at that price. He is solid and must be replaced.

Carlos Rogers: Cut by the 49ers, there's always a chance he could be brought back at a much reduced price. But I think the 49ers would like to move on.

Still possible:

Perrish Cox: It's telling that Wright was signed before he was. But similar to Rogers' situation, I guess the door can't be completely closed.

Potential future additions:

The remaining free-agent market is not overly enticing. The top players are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Antonio Cromartie. Others include Champ Bailey and Jabari Greer. Rodgers-Cromartie would be a good fit, but he wants too much money. The good news for the 49ers is the draft is stacked at this position and they could easily find a starting-quality player in the early rounds.


The 49ers need to add here and they will probably do it through the draft. If they get the right player, they should be fine. Having players like Culliver, Wright and Cook as a rotation player is not a terrible situation. The key will be, whoever is brought on to the team, he must be ready to contribute right away.

Numbers say 49ers playoff long shot

November, 18, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers -- after losing back-to-back games by a total of four points -- are suddenly a long shot to make the playoffs.

Stunning, right?

Two weeks ago, the 49ers were coming off the bye at 6-2 on the strength of a five-game winning streak. Now, they are 6-4, and mathematically speaking, on the outside of the playoff chase.

According to NumberFire, the 49ers have a 35.7 percent chance of making the playoffs as a wild-card entry with six weeks left. The 49ers are behind Detroit and Chicago, both also 6-4, in terms of playoff percentage. The Lions' chances are 77.2 percent. The Bears' chances are 54.5 percent. Arizona, also 6-4, is at 18.8 percent.

The 49ers’ chances being so low is a bit surprising. They have the seventh easiest remaining schedule in the NFL and their final six opponents are a combined 27-34. The 49ers are 4-0 against teams with losing records and 2-4 against winning teams. The only teams with winning records remaining on the 49ers’ schedule are Seattle (Week 14) and Arizona (Week 17).

Plus, this is a good team. Perhaps they will completely blow up and fall apart. I just don’t see that happening. The defense played playoff-caliber football in the losses to Carolina and New Orleans. As long as the defense holds up, the 49ers will win games.

Yes, the offense has struggled, but it scored at least 31 a game during the five-game win streak. So, the potential for offensive success is there.

I’m no mathematical genius (I topped out on multiplication), but 35 percent seems low. If I had to put a number on the 49ers making the playoffs I’d go around 75 percent.

Practice squad signee: The 49ers signed rookie safety Dax Swanson to the practice squad. He is from Sam Houston State and was with the Colts in camp.