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?
Yesterday, we talked about Chris Cook in our 90-in-90 breakdown of the day. Rather than move on to another position, I thought I would follow up with second year cornerback Kenneth Acker. The cornerback position features plenty of possibilities in our 53-man roster projection, so let's consider another option.
The 49ers invested several 2014 draft picks in the secondary, including a first (Jimmie Ward), fourth (Dontae Johnson), fifth (Keith Reaser) and sixth (Kenneth Acker). Ward secured the nickel back role out of camp, while Johnson worked his way into a solid reserve role both inside and outside. Reaser was coming off two surgeries on a torn ACL and was on the NFI list all year.
The sort of random outlier was Kenneth Acker. He was healthy coming into training camp, and he looked very solid in preseason action. However, at the end of camp the 49ers surprisingly placed him on injured reserve with what was later described as a stress fracture in his foot. The trainers apparently told him he had played two games with the injury. It is entirely possible it is a 100 percent legitimate injury. It is also possible the 49ers did not want to risk sliding him through waivers. I doubt we'll ever know for certain, but given how teams sometimes can use the injured lists to stash players, it would not surprise me if shenanigans were afoot (pun intended).
What to expect in 2015:
If Acker makes the roster, he would likely be competing for dime playing time. The 49ers have had enough injuries at the position that it would not be at all surprising to see changes in the starting lineup through August and into September. Ideally the group remains healthy, but last year showed how difficult that can be at times. Acker would play special teams primarily, but I could see him getting a handful of defensive snaps each game.
Of course, given the numbers game, there is a chance the 49ers might be in a position where they have to try and slide him through waivers. Maybe they trade someone else to make room for Acker, but this numbers game is going to be interesting at cornerback.
Odds of making the roster:
This is a tough one. If Keith Reaser can build on what has been described as a strong offseason workout program, his ability to handle the slot gives him a boost. If the 49ers do not keep a sixth cornerback, Acker would potentially be competing with the likes of Chris Cook, Marcus Cromartie, Leon McFadden and Mylan Hicks. One of his weaknesses was in the strength department. He has had a full year in the 49ers program, which will benefit him. He had the strong preseason last year, and if he can repeat it, that should be enough to secure a roster spot. My guess is better than 50/50. I'm inclined to list him as strong bubble, but it's going to be interesting.