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49ers roster, 90-in–90 breakdowns: Mylan Hicks

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today we focus on cornerback Mylan Hicks.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

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 rookies report to training camp in 12 days, and veterans arrive in 16 days, which means we are thaaaaat much closer to getting some real football in our lives. Barring any roster changes, we are down to our final 22 players on the 90-in-90 series. This morning we had a high profile option in Colin Kaepernick. This afternoon, we go a little further down the radar with cornerback Mylan Hicks.

The 49ers signed Hicks on May 18 as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State. The 49ers had brought Hicks in for a tryout during their rookie minicamp following the draft, and he did enough to earn a contract for training camp.

Hicks is listed as a cornerback, but he played other positions throughout college. He arrived at Michigan State as a highly rated cornerback. However, he switched to safety during his sophomore season. A year later, he switched to linebacker, and played that position in 2013 and 2014. He played primarily on special teams early in his college career, but made his first career start in Week 2 of the 2014 college football season. He suffered a broken arm this past season, which cost him four games.

There are not a lot of scouting reports given that he focused on special teams for a sizable chunk of his college career. At his Pro Day, he measured in at 5'11, 197 pounds, and ran a 4.47 40-yard dash. Even with an NFL weight program, he seems unlikely to go back to the linebacker position. You can read more about Hicks in this interview.

What to expect in 2015

The 49ers have a full slate of potential cornerback options, so I would expect him to be competing for a practice squad spot. The team has a lot of young cornerback options, with Keith Reaser and Kenneth Acker getting a significant opportunity after spending last year on the NFI and IR, respectively. The 49ers saw good things from Acker last August, and Reaser impressed during the offseason workout program. If they don't try to slide either of them through waivers to the practice squad, Hicks could compete with Marcus Cromartie for a practice squad spot.

His best chance to potentially earn a roster spot is standing out significantly on special teams. He did a lot of that at Michigan State, but it is a sizable step-up to NFL special teams. If he did make the roster, it would be in that kind of role.

Odds of making the roster

Very slim. He would need to shine on special teams, and while he will get some opportunities in the preseason, I don't see it being enough. He'll likely being playing almost exclusively in the fourth quarter. It will take some big performances in the first two weeks of practice to convince the coaching staff to give him a bigger opportunity. Maybe he surprises us, but I'm not holding my breath. I think the practice squad is a legitimate opportunity given that he hasn't played cornerback in several years, and some development time could be valuable.