Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the San Francisco 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.
Yesterday, we took a look at A.J. Jenkins, a guy who gets as many comments as anybody since Alex Smith. Things will be a little lighter today, but the player is not necessarily any less interesting. Today, we look at cornerback Darryl Morris.
The 49ers signed Morris out of Texas State as part of their 2013 class of undrafted free agents. Morris is not a big guy, standing 5'9, 186 pounds, but he is a burner. He ran a 4.33 40 at his Pro Day, and one reader (Ryanco) stated that in one game he saw, Morris played up to his speed. A lot of players can run a fast 40, but play much slower when they get in pads. According to Ryanco, Morris looked like a speedster in his game against San Jose State.
The folks at Draft Insider put together a brief scouting report on Morris, where they projected him as a dime back in zone coverage at the NFL level. Here's what they had to say:
Positive: Athletic cornerback best facing the action. Displays good recognition in zone coverage, quickly picks up assignments and displays a burst to the action. Quick flipping his hips transition with opponents, gets vertical and battles to defend the pass.
Negative: Lacks a quick, fluid backpedal and prefers to side shuffle down the field. Not a sturdy tackler.
Here's some video of his time at Texas State:
What to expect in 2013
Along with Lowell Rose, Marcus Cooper, Morris faces a tough numbers game at the cornerback position with the addition of Nnamdi Asomugha. If Morris makes the roster, it would be due to proving himself on special teams. Morris could find himself in a gunner role on punt coverage. If he can maintain discipline, his speed is a huge asset in the coverage units. If he did make the roster, he would likely see little to no playing time with the starting defense. Even if the 49ers went to dime coverage, they've got numerous players to fill that role.
Odds of making the roster
His odds are not good because of the numbers. The 49ers broke camp with five cornerbacks, and stuck with that most of the season. If they carry five, Nnamdi Asomugha and Perrish Cox would be in that mix, depending on who gets which starting spots with Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver. Tramaine Brock becomes a bubble guy, which only adds to the competition. If the 49ers decided to keep six corners that opens it up a bit, but even still, it's a tough competition.
At this point, Morris' best opportunity is likely on the practice squad. I could see the team keeping at least two cornerbacks on the practice squad. Tarell Brown is a free agent, and Carlos Rogers could be on his way out sooner rather than later. If the team can keep a pair of potentially talented cornerbacks on the practice squad, it could help them build competition for the position in 2014.