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 spent significant draft capital on the cornerback position this offseason. They drafted Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson, and Prince Charles Iworah, who join a group of talented youngsters. Tramaine Brock and Jimmie Ward appear set to be starters, but there are quite a few players competing for opportunities behind them. One of them who flew under-the-radar, but is picking up some steam is Chris Davis.
Davis entered the NFL in 2014, signing as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers. He made the roster and played in 12 games as a rookie. This past September, he was waived/injured and placed on injured reserve. He was waived from the IR list on October 26. The 49ers signed him to their practice squad on November 3, and then promoted him to the 53-man roster on November 7. The signing and promotion happened because Kenneth Acker, Tramaine Brock, and Keith Reaser all were listed as questionable on the injury report.
Davis was active for two games, inactive for five games, and then active for the season finale. He played 17 defensive snaps and 16 special teams snaps during that period. I thought today was a good day to do his 90-in-90 because he has been getting first team work as the slot corner in the team's nickel defense during OTAs.
Here are a few scouting reports from prior to the 2014 draft.
Experience: 2 accrued seasons
Weight: 201 lbs
He is entering the second year of a two-year contract he signed when promoted off the 49ers practice squad November 7, 2015. He will have a base salary and cap hit of $600,000 if he earns a roster spot. If he plays out the season, he will be an exclusive rights free agent next offseason.
What to expect in 2016
If he does earn a roster spot, it would seem like the team sees him as a slot corner. After two years of working in the slot, Jimmie Ward is now getting a lot of work as the starting base defense corner opposite Tramaine Brock. In the first OTA, Dontae Johnson came on outside in the nickel, and Ward did some slot work. The last two open OTAs however, Chris Davis took over the slot role, and Ward remained outside. If that's the case, his best chance of playing time would be in the 49ers nickel and dime packages. If he can emerge with that role, he could be playing every week.
Odds of making the roster
There are a lot of bodies competing at the cornerback position. We can't take OTA depth charts as gospel, but I can't see it being a bad thing that Davis is getting a chance to show what he can do with the No. 1 nickel defense. It will mean a lot more though if he's getting these same opportunities in training camp and preseason games. I would have previously said he was weak bubble, but for now he's at least the stronger side of the weak bubble. He's one guy in particular we'll be paying attention to when training camp arrives.