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 you get the idea.
The San Francisco 49ers were active in the 2016 NFL Draft when it came to cornerback help. The team spent a third round pick on Will Redmond, a fourth round pick on Rashard Robinson, and a seventh round pick on Prince Charles Iworah. The team already has a lot of young talent competing for opportunities, but it is clear they want to push that depth chart considerably in 2016.
Iworah is the least likely of the 49ers 90-man roster to make it to the final 53 in 2016, but he is also one of the more intriguing prospects on the team. The Western Kentucky cornerback got his first significant playing time as a red-shirt sophomore, appearing in 12 games. He moved into the starting lineup as a junior, and starting 26 games over his final two college seasons. He had one interception his junior year, and four his senior year.
His college stats don’t stand out, but his raw skills do. At his Pro Day, Iworah measured in at 5’9 192 pounds, and had these performances in drills:
40-yard dash: 4.32 seconds
Vertical: 38 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 8 inches
Short shuttle: 4.52 seconds
3-cone: 7.12 seconds
Bench: 25 reps of 225 pounds
Iworah did not compete at the NFL Combine, but his numbers would have been at or near the top among all defensive backs in most of the drills. Scouting reports suggest he is incredibly raw as a cover corner, but he is a physical freak, which is why the 49ers invested a seventh round pick. He primarily utilized his physical gifts to make up for a lack of technique and position-specific skill.
There is certainly no guarantee he’ll pick up the techniques to take a step forward, but you can’t teach this combination of physical skills. For a late round pick, it’s entirely worth rolling the dice to see what comes of it. The 49ers could have waited to sign him as a priority free agent, but it makes sense to get that kind of physical talent on the roster however you can.
Was selected by the 49ers in the seventh round (249th overall) of this year’s draft out of Western Kentucky University. In 40 games during his four-year career with the Hilltoppers, he recorded 91 tackles, five interceptions, 16 passes defensed, 3.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Over his final two seasons (2014-15), Iworah started all 27 games and registered 79 tackles, 16 passes defensed and five interceptions. As a senior in 2015, he finished with career highs in tackles (42) and interceptions (four). A 23-year old native of Nashville, TN, Iworah attended Father Ryan High School in Nashville.
Age: 22 (23 on December 23)
He signed his four-year rookie contract. If he makes the 49ers roster, his base salary will be $450,000 and his cap hit will be $465,370. If released, the 49ers cap would deal with $61,480 in dead money for his signing bonus. They would take a $15,370 hit this year, and $46,110 next year since it would technically qualify as a post-June 1 release.
What to expect in 2016
He seems like a strong candidate for the practice squad. It will be interesting to see if the 49ers play him a lot during the preseason, or if they try and hide him. We’ve seen them do with that players in the past, to varying levels of success. If he does get out there in the preseason, flashing those skills could certainly get the hype train rolling to some degree. If Iworah did manage to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, my guess is it would be primarily due to standing out on special teams. With that speed and size, maybe he quickly establishes himself as a potential special teams dynamo. That could get him active fairly quickly as a rookie.
Odds of making the roster
They are very slim considering the 49ers have a lot of cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. He would seem to have a strong chance of earning a spot on the practice squad. As I mentioned above, special teams is likely his best shot at making the roster as a rookie.