Iowa football: Greg Mabin hoping rollercoaster ride results in playing time

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Former Iowa football standout Greg Mabin is hoping to stick with the 49ers after an emotional rollercoaster of being waived and re-signed.

Greg Mabin committed to the Iowa football program as part of the 2012 recruiting class. He was actually brought on to be a wide receiver but made the switch to defense once he arrived on campus.

Mabin redshirted his freshman year to get acclimated with playing cornerback full-time and didn’t see the field in 2013. Finally, in 2014 Mabin got his shot and played in all 13 games (12 starts) that season. He recorded 53 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 6 pass deflections.

The following season, Mabin was an integral part of a defense that helped the Hawkeyes achieve a perfect 12-0 regular season. He recorded 54 total tackles, 2 interceptions, and 8 pass deflections. As a senior, he regressed a bit from his junior season and missed the final four games of the year to injury but still managed to tally 37 tackles with 3 pass deflections.

In April 2017, Mabin went undrafted in the NFL Draft but was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent. A week later, he was cut by the Buccaneers and picked up by the Buffalo Bills on June 1. The Bills waived Mabin in mid-September and was signed to their practice squad.

He was promoted to their active roster for one game but was cut a week later. The San Francisco 49ers signed him to their practice squad in mid-October and promoted him to the active roster on November 1, mostly for special teams purposes. He recorded one assisted tackle and remained with the team through the offseason.

Come October 2018, Mabin was waived by the 49ers, re-signed to their practice squad, and promoted again in November. He played in 13 games last season with 1 start and recorded 16 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. He even had a few flashes of superior play during his time on the active roster. I can’t even begin to understand the emotional rollercoaster Mabin has been through thus far.

He’s buried in the early 2019 depth chart for the 49ers and could ultimately end up being cut prior to the season. That is unless an injury occurs on the 49ers roster, which has been the primary reason Mabin has been up and down between practice squad and active roster.

He has the potential to stick with a team but needs the opportunity to showcase his talent. Mabin’s situation reminds me somewhat of another Iowa football player Micah Hyde‘s with the Packers. Hyde started his professional career playing nickel cornerback but shifted to free safety due to a lack of depth at the position.

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If Mabin has the chance to change positions to fill a need for the 49ers, he should absolutely be open to doing so. It worked for Hyde who made his first Pro Bowl in 2017 and Mabin could follow in his footsteps.