Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but Fooch is a crazy person who manages this blog with no rhyme or reason and it's worked so far. Who am I to argue?
When I walk down the street at night, people tend to cross when they catch sight of me lumbering their way. It's been my reality since I had a growth spurt around the age of 14 and I've typically taken to crossing myself just to save them the trouble. I'm what you might call a gentle giant, though.
I imagine San Francisco 49ers rookie offensive tackle Trenton Brown has similar stories about people crossing the street once they see his hulking frame lumber on into view. But if his personality is in any way reflected by the way he plays on the football field, then his story probably doesn't include the "gentle giant" line.
Brown is, for lack of a better metaphor, a large boulder of a person. You know how sealed packages inflate when you're driving across the country and experiencing elevation changes? That happens when Brown picks things up off the ground. He's the kind of guy who has probably at one time or another wished physical pain on another human being who thought it was particularly funny to ask him "How's the weather up there, big guy?"
I identify with that.
The great Douglas Adams had this to say about the big-ness of our own universe:
Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.
That quote pretty much applies to Brown as well. I am speaking, of course, in serious hyperbole. But I mean, come on -- the guy is huge. The 49ers took Brown in the seventh round of the NFL Draft and while I can't claim he has a guaranteed spot on the team going forward or that he's one of the top prospects due to his size, I can say I like it when the 49ers go after a specific trait and really nail it.
Brown was a productive offensive lineman at Florida. He started games at both tackle and guard and I imagine the 49ers consider him more of a tackle than a guard, but that really could go either way at this point. He utilized impressive leverage in college, a definite positive given that this is typically a weakness of very tall players. He's big, he's strong and he's good at being a big thing that runs into smaller things to stop those smaller things from getting after his quarterback.
He's not just a big guy though. He knows how to assert his bulk, he knows how to engage and disengage, and he knows how to do those things well. I may be buying into the hype train a little bit, but I think Brown has a future in this league.
Expected 2015 impact:
San Francisco didn't address the offensive line until the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft, meaning they're pretty comfortable that between Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas and Joe Looney they'll wind up with a starting left guard and center. We have some question marks after that, like what's going to happen with right guard Alex Boone but the position is not a concern for now.
Boone serves as the primary swing tackle (or if the 49ers don't want to shake things up, there's uninspiring veteran Erik Pears) and the two guys who don't win the aforementioned starting jobs at left guard and center are solid backups to carry on the roster. Because of this, I'm not sure there's room for a rookie like Brown on the 53-man roster.
I think Jim Tomsula is a guy that values big, versatile offensive linemen (as an aside, please read what Tomsula had to say about Brown following the selection and remember why he's such a likable dude) and I think if there is any thought that Brown could be picked off by another team from the practice squad, San Francisco would sacrifice the roster spot. But if there's no worry -- and believe me, teams give this kind of thing a lot of thought -- then I expect Brown will be stashed away there for the time being.
Having plenty of offensive linemen in practice is a must and the 49ers will carry plenty of them on their practice squad. I don't expect Brown will have any tangible, measurable impact on the team in his rookie season but I think he has a lot of potential and upside.
Odds of making the roster:
Like I said above, I'm not sure there's room for Brown unless he seriously surprises in training camp and makes someone like Dillon Farrell expendable or if the team feels they can't get away with placing him on the practice squad. His chances of making the 53-man roster this season are incredibly slim, but keep an eye out for this kid in the future.