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Jarryd Hayne makes 49ers' final roster

Jarryd Hayne made it on the San Francisco 49ers' regular season roster, surviving the final round of roster cuts.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Rugby league convert Jarryd Hayne has caught on with the San Francisco 49ers and will be on the team's 53-man roster to start the 2015 season. Hayne -- a 27-year-old Australian who is playing American football for the first time this season -- joined the 49ers in the offseason with hopes of making it at running back or returner. It's been quite the journey.

Thus far, Hayne has shown decent ability at the running back position, but where he excels most is as a punt and kick returner. As it turns out, being really good at running and making people miss while holding the football was probably the best thing for a National Rugby League convert to do right out of the gate. Hayne showed excellent ability as a returner and also busted a couple decent runs on offense.

Adding to his value, Hayne has been the first guy down the fields on punt and kick coverage multiple times. Showing that he can make the tackles as well as contribute on the other side of the ball upped his value a good bit and it wasn't surprising to see him survive both rounds of roster cuts.

Hayne is a natural, and every time he's involved in a play, he'll be a threat to make something happen for the 49ers. Hayne had five carries for 63 yards, a kick return for 33 yards and two punt returns for 24 yards in his first football game, the 49ers' preseason opener. He looked good running and returning in the ensuing three games as well.

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