Each year, we like to run a series of posts called "90-in-90." The idea is that we'll take a look at every player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few ways. This roster will certainly change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not exactly 90 players in 90 days. At this point, it's a name we're keeping around for street cred.
Most fans felt the San Francisco 49ers need to add some depth to the secondary in the 2014 NFL Draft, and the team did just that. Of course, it was not quite in the manner many of us expected. After selecting safety Jimmie Ward to potentially play nickel back his first year, the 49ers added three more cornerbacks in the fourth, fifth, sixth rounds. This group included Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser, and Kenneth Acker.
The 49ers used a sixth round pick on SMU cornerback Kenneth Acker. He's a big guy at 6'0, 190 pounds, but there are some questions as to how physical he can get. Scouting reports seem to consistently point to question marks in press coverage. The 49ers mix and match what they do in the secondary, so we'll see how much press we see in the preseason.
Based on the scouting reports linked below, Acker sounds like a guy who is technically sound for the most part. He also has quite a bit of experience as a return man, and a guy for the hands unit. He previously was a wide receiver, so the hands unit makes some sense.
Expected 2014 impact:
If Acker makes the roster, it will be in large part because he is able to contribute to special teams. Given his return experience, I have to think the 49ers try and get him some reps as punt and kick returner, just to see what he can bring to the table. If Chris Culliver and Chris Cook both make the 49ers roster, there probably will not be a lot of opportunities in the secondary for Acker or Dontae Johnson. If I had to make a prediction, I suspect the 49ers try and slip Acker to the practice squad. Maybe we see them hide Acker in the preseason. And if they're concerned he could get picked up, maybe Acker snags a roster spot as one of the weekly inactives. My guess though is that the former happens.
Odds of making the roster:
The cornerback depth chart has a lot of questions, but there are a lot of players competing for playing time. Aside from Tramaine Brock, nobody has a specific role locked in stone. Chris Culliver and Chris Cook would seem to be competing for the starting job opposite Brock. Jimmie Ward, Perrish Cox, and Darryl Morris are competing for the nickel and dime roles. That leaves Kenneth Acker and Dontae Johnson competing for whatever they can find. I could see the 49ers including one of the two on the roster, and trying to get the other one to the practice squad. For now, Johnson would seemingly have the edge given that the 49ers invested a 4th round pick on him. But if they are particularly impressed with Acker, maybe that changes. For now though, Acker is in a bit of a tough situation.