The San Francisco 49ers added 19 players to their offseason roster last weekend, drafting ten players and signing nine undrafted free agents. We have been going over the players and how they will impact their respective position units in 2015, and we will be wrapping that up this week with looks at Arik Armstead and Bradley Pinion.
In the meantime, I wanted to look at the rookie class from another perspective (one of many perspectives remaining this offseason!). The folks at Bovada.lv posted early odds on offensive rookie of the year and then specials on whether a couple different players will win defensive rookie of the year.
The 49ers are not featured anywhere in these, but I still wanted to consider how they might impact the team in 2015. I am not anticipating any rookie awards, but that does not mean we will not see impacts this year. People have been concerned about what we will see from the rookies. Some will not make an impact this year, but I think several are in line to impact the team.
If I were to rank out the order in which I think each rookie will impact the team, it might look something like this:
I think Harold gets a chance right off the bat as the fourth outside linebacker. If he climbs past Corey Lemonier, as I think many expect, he could be in line for a decent bit of rotation at outside linebacker. And if Ahmad Brooks ends up off the team, Harold's impact only increases. He is an incomplete package right now, but he brings enough pass rushing skill to make an impact.
Bradley Pinion has the best chance to be a starter this fall, but even if he does, he still plays sufficiently fewer snaps as a punter that I keep him a little lower. Of course, as punter he would likely also be the holder for Phil Dawson, which only adds some intrigue to his contributions!
DeAndre Smelter is a bit unclear given his injury status. If he does get healthy enough to contribute this year, he has the skills to be a decent contributor. I sort of split the difference with him given the injury question mark.
The bottom three are all guys who I could see on either the NFI list (Anderson with his triceps muscle), or the practice squad (Silberman and Brown). And of course, that leaves Arik Armstead pretty low for a first round pick. I think he has the upside to contribute long term, but I am skeptical we see all that much of him in year one. I hope I am proven wrong (for reasons of him being a positive contributor, not injury forcing him into the line), but I prefer to wait and see once training camp and the preseason get here.
How would you rank the 49ers ten draft picks in terms of likely contributions?