Wednesday, September 4, 2013

49ers hoping Chris Harper can be replacement for Delanie Walker

Former Seattle Seahawks fourth-round draft pick Chris Harper isn’t just changing teams this week, he’s changing positions as well.

Harper was released by Seattle during roster cuts over the weekend and signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad. However, the San Francisco 49ers elected to sign Harper to their active roster and lured him away from their division rival. Now the 49ers have a new role in mind for Harper that has him doing things he’s never done in his football career.

The 49ers hope to mold Harper into a replacement for tight end Delanie Walker, who signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason. San Francisco would put Walker on the line of scrimmage and split him out wide as a receiving threat that served as a strong complement for Vernon Davis. Harper, a former college quarterback and receiver, will have to get used to playing on the line of scrimmage for the first time.

“I’ve never gotten in a three-point stance before, so that’s going to be different for me,” Harper said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Harper found himself buried on Seattle’s depth chart following strong training camps from Jermaine Kearse and Stephen Williams left Harper as the odd man out when they kept just five receivers on their active roster. Harper won’t exclusively become a tight end, but the transition could give him a better chance to seeing the field soon for the 49ers.

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