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?
The San Francisco 49ers went into last season with turnover at the cornerback position, but figuring at least one solid option in Tramaine Brock. He was expected in the starting lineup, with Chris Culliver the likely No. 2 cornerback. The 49ers signed Brock to a four-year contract extension in November 2013 in the midst of a solid run of games on the outside.
An early training camp injury sidelined Brock for much of August. This provided Perrish Cox and Dontae Johnson with a lot of opportunities to get first and second team defensive work. Brock recovered in time for the start of the season, but suffered a toe injury 11 snaps into the season. He missed the next five weeks, and then was active for Week 7 as Chris Culliver and Jimmie Ward were both out. Brock was rusty and it appears injured his hamstring. He was inactive Weeks 9 and 10 with the toe injury, and then inactive the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. All in all, it was a lost season for Brock.
Why he might improve:
One would hope he will not deal with the injury bug quite like this again. He did not have a history of injuries like this, so it's not like he entered the season viewed as injury prone. And there are some logical explanations for the injuries. The turf in Dallas is not exactly a kind surface, thus making a toe injury more likely. The team might have rushed him back a bit in Week 7, thus the hamstring injury. It was still a wasted year, but hopefully he is good to go for training camp and moving forward.
From a talent perspective, he was coming off a solid 2013, so additional time in the starting lineup would potentially allow him to further flash his skills. Given that he is coming off a lost year, we'll just have to wait and see what he brings to the table in 2015.
Why he might regress:
Well, he sat out last Thursday's open OTA session, so that does not exactly bode well for him to remain healthy. He went through warmups, but was not part of 11-on-11 drills. He did not practice again at Friday's second open OTA session, so we'll see if media availability provides any information. It is certainly possible Brock could struggle in a full-time cornerback role, but at the moment, my only real concern is from an injury perspective.
Odds of making the roster:
If he is healthy, Brock is likely going to be in the 49ers starting lineup. If he is dealing with an injury, the 49ers are unlikely to just release him for an injury settlement. The 49ers can save $2,040,000 in cap space with a post-June 1 cut of Brock, but I just don't see him getting released at this point. He has plenty he can contribute and the 49ers will wait and see how healthy he can remain.