Posted: 7:15 p.m. Monday, June 17, 2013
By David Fucillo
Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.
During last week's mandatory minicamp, one little nugget popped up that was easy to overlook. With Joe Staley and Mike Iupati both sitting out the minicamp following offseason procedures, the 49ers minicamp featuredKenny Wiggins at first team left tackle and Adam Snyder at first team left guard.
Snyder was brought in to compete across the entire offensive line, while Wiggins has quietly toiled away in practice squad obscurity. The 49ers signed Wiggins as an undrafted free agent in 2011, but released him at the end of training camp. He signed to the Ravens practice squad in November 2011, and spent the remainder of the season with them. In early 2012, he signed a reserve/futures contract with the 49ers. He was once again a late training camp release, but signed with the 49ers practice squad, where he spent the entire season.
Wiggins stands 6'6, and is listed at 314 pounds. For those wondering, his arm length is 35 5/8", which is plenty long to play on the offensive line. I found a compilation of three scouting reports from when Wiggins was draft eligible. The consensus from those reports was that he had the size to be an NFL offensive lineman, but he was not necessarily as quick as needed, and could find himself too upright to be effective.
What to expect in 2013
Wiggins is a bit of a long-shot to make the 49ers 53-man roster, in part because he would likely need to beat out Adam Snyder. If Wiggins made the roster, he would fill a swing tackle role and potentially get some work as a blocker in jumbo packages. He would be expected to show something on special teams, but otherwise would not see a ton of playing time.
Odds of making the roster
Given that Wiggins works primarily at offensive tackle, he would basically seem to be squaring off with Adam Snyder for a roster spot. Snyder doesn't exactly knock our socks off, but his versatility across the line gives him an edge. Additionally, the team likely wouldn't mind having a veteran backup for the line. If Wiggins made the roster over Snyder, the three backup offensive lineman would be Wiggins, Kilgore and Looney. I think the 49ers could live with that if Wiggins impressed, but I think Snyder gets the extra spot.
Wiggins has used up two seasons of practice squad eligibility, which leaves him with one more year. According to the CBA, an otherwise eligible player can spend a third season on a practice squad only if the team has a full 53-man roster during the entire time the player is on the practice squad. So, this is a pretty big training camp for Wiggins. If he gets enough reps and shows some things, it is also entirely possible he would be claimed if he does not make the final roster cuts.
At this point, I would be surprised if he made the 53-man roster. That being said, like most young guys on the roster, I'll be paying close attention to Wiggins during preseason action.