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49ers Roster, 90-in-90 breakdowns: Trenton Robinson

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today we focus on Trenton Robinson.


Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.

The 49ers have made several offseason acquisitions to shore up their special teams and safety position. We saw the team draft Eric Reid to compete for the free safety job and Nick Moody to help on special teams. They also signed safety Craig Dahl, and potential special teamers like LB Dan Skuta, S Raymond Ventrone and WR Kassim Osgood.

Amidst all these moves, it is easy to overlook the various players that were already on the 49ers roster. They have quite a few notable special teams and safety options, but for today's 90-in-90, I thought I'd take a look at the guy who played the least in that group.

The 49ers drafted Trenton Robinson in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Robinson was a free safety at Michigan State and came in looking to compete as a depth option behind Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. Although he played free safety in college, Robinson ended the year listed as the primary backup at strong safety. Of course, we've had plenty of discussion about the potential interchangeability of the 49ers safety positions. That did not really apply to Goldson and Whitner given their disparate skill sets, but maybe the 49ers viewed their depth option in that manner.

Robinson was active the first three games, seeing time on special teams. He got fourteen special teams snaps in Week 1, seven in Week 2 and four in Week 3. After that, Robinson was inactive the rest of the season.

What to expect in 2013

If Robinson were to make the roster, I actually think it's difficult to figure out his entire role. More than likely, Eric Reid would be the starting free safety. Beyond that, Robinson could conceivably be behind guys like Craig Dahl, C.J. Spillman and maybe even Darcel McBath. As I'll describe below, one of his prime competitors would likely be Michael Thomas, with no more than one of the two making the roster.

Coming out of college, there was some concern about Robinson's 5'9 height, but he was viewed as a guy who could potentially handle the center field role. The most realistic outcome this season (assuming he makes the roster) is that Robinson works into a regular role on the special teams coverage units, and maybe gets some mop-up duty at safety.

Odds of making the roster

His odds took a hit with the influx of potential talent. If Eric Reid struggles in training camp, all bets are off. But if Reid locks down the free safety spot, it's a battle royale for limited roster spots. Robinson's odds of making the team benefit from his low-paying rookie contract, but he's facing a lot of experience in training camp. The battle for backup safety role(s) will be low key, but still interesting to follow. I think right now Robinson is less than 50-50 to make the roster in 2013.