By: Joe Lami
Shayne Skov was among the 53 that made the final roster for the San Francisco 49ers, which was announced on Saturday. It’s especially sweet because of the struggles the former Stanford star linebacker has gone through over the past two years.
After going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, mostly due to an ACL tear his senior season at Stanford, Skov signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately, Skov was unable to make the team last year and bounced around the practice squads between both the 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He signed a future/reserves contract with the 49ers going into the 2015 training camp and knew he might have a chance at making the roster due to the off-season the 49ers had in losing much of their defense, especially at the linebacker position.
During the pre-season, Skov played a ton due to the injury of Michael Wilhoite and not over playing Navarro Bowman. Skov really showed what he could do during the Texans game when he played a team-leading 66 snaps.
Skov might be a little undersized at the linebacker position, listed at a generous 6’3’’ 247 pounds. However, what Skov lacks in size, he makes up for in speed, and heart. Skov’s pursuit is incredible and he makes tackles he has no business making, traveling half way across the field to do it. He definitely showed this incredible ability during his time at Stanford. Combine his pursuit with his high football IQ, and it creates a monster that will be a force on the Niners front seven for years to come.
Some of the others to crack the 53-man include Jarryd Hayne, the former Australian Rugby star. He highlighted his ability on the punt return game, as well as his ability in the backfield during the pre-season. Hayne finished second in rushing yards in the league for the four games.
Nose tackle, Mike Purcell also makes the roster. Another undrafted free agent for the 49ers from the 2013 season. He played two games in 2013, before being sent down to the practice squad for the 2014 season. The 6’3’’ 303 pound Purcell showed off his blazing speed and amazing hands in the Cowboys’ game as he returned an interception for a touchdown.
Now while these guys are the feel-good stories of the 49ers’ 53-man roster, their next step is to play on game day and be announced to the 46 that get to suit up.