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49ers roster: Who is UDFA offensive lineman Sam Schlueter? – Niner Noise

Sam Schlueter #78 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
The 49ers threw plenty of resources at their offensive line this offseason, but Sam Schlueter probably isn’t a name anyone recognized.
When talking about the San Francisco 49ers’ 2022 offseason investments in their offensive line, one might think more about the NFL Draft additions of Spencer Burford or Nick Zakelj, both taken on day three of the draft.
Or, fans may think about undrafted free-agent pickups like Jason Poe or the should-have-been-drafted Dohnovan West.
Not former Minnesota offensive lineman Sam Schlueter.
Part of the 14 UDFAs the Niners picked up following the NFL Draft, the undrafted rookie faces what’ll be a daunting task trying to make the 53-man roster in year one.
Primarily a tackle at the collegiate level, could San Francisco be eyeing a move inside to guard, or will Schlueter emerge as a developmental swing tackle who could see his role increase after a year or two at the pro level?
From the outset, Schlueter’s 6-foot-6 and 309-pound frame is pretty ideal for what teams would want in an offensive tackle.
His flexibility to play both sides of the line also works in his favor, too, as the 49ers have yet to identify a true swing tackle to support the two starters, Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey, heading into training camp.
While there are some serious flaws to his game, which we’ll get to, it appears as if Schlueter can at least hold his own in run support, which should make him a dark-horse candidate to impress head coach Kyle Shanahan.
As noted, Schlueter is far from a polished product, even in terms of the UDFA variety.
49ers Gold Mine’s Bret Rumbeck had an excellent film breakdown of the rookie’s efforts at Minnesota, but the conclusion is this:
It’s clear why Schlueter went undrafted in April; his pass blocking ability will need some serious work to make an NFL roster. However, his ability to play either right or left tackle makes him worthy of heavy investment from the 49ers’ coaching staff. …
Schlueter might need a complete reboot of his technique to make a regular-season roster, but having an actual swing tackle would pay off in spades for the 49ers.
Pass protection is lacking, and Schlueter’s run support needs a lot of refinement.
Read More: 5 jobs fully up for grabs during 49ers training camp
And considering the sheer number of competitors the former Golden Gopher will square up against during training camp, the Niners may not have a lot of patience.
At best, most rookies find themselves listed with second-string units during training camp. And for teams with a relatively stacked roster, such as San Francisco, a third- or even fourth-string group might be where first-year pros end up getting snaps during camp and the preseason.
The back of the back is likely where Schlueter winds up seeing time from the opening of camp through the exhibition phase of games. And while fellow UDFA linemen like Poe and West have a bigger pedigree, Schlueter might have an edge considering his ability to play tackle spots.
It’s not likely Schlueter winds up overtaking other swing-tackle candidates, such as Justin Skule or Jaylon Moore, in year one, however.
If anything, the rookie is probably facing some modest looks late in the fourth quarter of preseason games, which will determine whether or not the 49ers want to use a spot on their practice squad in 2022 to further drive his much-needed development.
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