The San Francisco 49ers have signed Canadian offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley to a futures contract for the 2021 season.
Shepley made his NFL debut against the Washington Football Team in Week 14 after being called up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He finished the season dressing in the final three games for the 49ers.
The Windsor, Ontario native was a first-round pick of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2018 CFL draft. He signed with the team in March 2019 and started 14 games at right guard last CFL season, winning the team’s Most Outstanding Rookie award.
He opted out of his three-down contract in August 2020 to pursue the NFL, signing a one-year deal with the defending NFC champions. He beat out two other offensive linemen who were selected in past NFL drafts in Jamon Brown (third rounder, 2015) and Ted Larsen (sixth rounder, 2010) for that contract.
The 26-year-old played four seasons at the University of British Columbia (2014-2017), starting 31 of 32 regular season games. While at UBC, Shepley lined up at left tackle and right guard, earning Canada West All-Star honours in 2017. He played in the 2017 U Sports East-West Bowl and was part of the Thunderbirds 2015 Vanier Cup championship team.
At the 2018 CFL combine, Shepley repped 225 pounds 27 times, ran a 5.15 hand-time 40-yard dash, 4.72 shuttle, 8.01 three-cone, recorded a 31-inch vertical and eight-foot, 9.5-inch broad jump. His raw athletic numbers drew attention from NFL scouts.
Shepley inked a deal with the New York Jets after going unselected in the 2018 NFL draft. The UBC product was cut following training camp that year and spent the rest of the season awaiting another NFL opportunity.
After impressing head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, Shepley has earned a shot at the roster for next season.