6. Chris Finke, WR, Notre Dame
A former walk-on, Chris Finke is expected to at least make the practice squad considering the fact that he was guaranteed $95,000 as a priority free agent signing.
Finke is a smaller 5-foot-9 slot receiver who was never terribly productive for the Fighting Irish. His highest yards total came as a junior with 571 on 49 receptions. As a senior, Finke caught eight fewer passes (41) but had two more touchdowns (4).
Trent Taylor is the most similar receiver the 49ers have on their roster. Finke understands route concepts and knows when to sit down on a route and find the opening in the zone. He is the type of receiver quarterbacks know they can trust and check down to.
He will have to add strength but he will likely always struggle against physical, especially longer cornerbacks. He lacks arm length and is not the type of receiver that will be making catches in traffic.
Finke was a punt returner for Notre Dame which gives him a big leg-up when it comes to special teams’ value.
As stated in the beginning, Finke will likely make the practice squad, but depending on what happens with Taylor, he could sneak his way onto the active roster as the younger replacement.
He is still low on this list despite this, as I don’t see him making any impact at the next level, and there were better options out there.
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5. Jared Mayden, S, Alabama
Jared Mayden is a 6-foot, 205-pound safety who played alongside many talented players in his four seasons for the Crimson Tide.
Despite being a top-recruit coming out of high school who had his choice of basically any top-program in the country, Mayden didn’t see much playing time until the 2019 season where he started in 11 games. Prior to his senior season, Mayden had zero career starts.
Mayden was recruited as a cornerback but lined up at multiple positions on defense in the same vein as fellow 2019 Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. Those positions are free safety, strong safety, and cornerback, though Mayden definitely projects as a box safety at the next level.
While he had four interceptions in 2019, Mayden is an average athlete and does not offer much in terms of range or downfield coverage. Mayden is a downhill player who enjoys contact and offers help in run support.
Being Nick Saban coached and playing for a prestigious program that churns out talent, especially on defense, it would not be surprising to see him make a squad as depth and end up being a contributor on special teams despite his limitations.