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 will enter 2016 training camp with all sorts of options at cornerback. The unit is very young, which means there is potential, but plenty of question marks along with it. The 49ers added Will Redmond and Rashard Robinson in the third and fourth rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, respectively. Redmond is viewed more as a nickel back, while Robinson has the length and athleticism to potentially be a quality outside option.
The 49ers surprised some folks when they went back-to-back cornerbacks in those two rounds, and Robinson was an interesting one in particular. As talented as he is, off-the-field issues have been a problem. When he takes the field this preseason, it will be his first game action since the middle of the 2014 LSU season. He’s dealt with arrests and a suspension, and maturity is a big question mark for him.
Physicality will be something in particular to watch in the preseason. He’s not big on run support, and his wiry frame is not ideal for some of the bigger-bodied wide receivers out there. Of course, an NFL strength and conditioning program, coupled with professional nutritionists could help him pack on some muscle.
He’s acknowledged he is a big talker, and there have been multiple reports of him talking trash during OTAs and minicamp. He has gotten into it a bit with Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington. We’ll see how that carries over into training camp and on the field in preseason play. You don’t want a player getting unnecessary flags, but confidence and a short memory can be critical at the cornerback position.
Was selected by the 49ers in the fourth round (133rd overall) of this year’s draft out of Louisiana State University. He appeared in 20 games (8 starts) for the Tigers and tallied 33 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one interception and four passes defensed in his career. In 2014, Robinson played in eight games (six starts) and recorded 17 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and one pass defensed. As a freshman, he appeared in 12 games (two starts) and notched 16 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss, one interception and three passes defensed. A 20-year old native of Pompano Beach, FL, Robinson attended Ely High School in Pompano Beach.
Age: 20 (21 on July 23)
He signed a four-year rookie contract last month. In his rookie year, he will earn a base salary of $450,000, and have a cap hit of $545,848.
What to expect in 2016
Tramaine Brock and Jimmie Ward are looking like the starters in the base defense. When the team goes to sub-packages however, there are a lot of questions. Dontae Johnson is likely a favorite to get playing time, but there is prime opportunity for Robinson. If Robinson can reach his huge potential, he could work his way into dime and maybe nickel work. Of course, he is also potentially going to be adding some muscle, and getting rid of 18 months of rust. My guess is he is inactive the first few games, but eventually (hopefully) works his way into game action.
Odds of making the roster
He is a lock to make the roster. I’m sure fourth round picks have been cut in their first training camp at some point in NFL history, but I see no way it happens with Robinson. The bigger question is what kind of playing time he earns. After Brock and Ward, his competition could include Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker, Marcus Cromartie, and others. I don’t include Will Redmond because he will be competing more specifically for a slot corner position once he is healthy. But Robinson is facing a handful of young veterans in pursuit of playing time.