The San Francisco 49ers enter training camp in two weeks with 11 players in their 2016 draft class, not including undrafted free agents. Each player enters camp with different expectations, and odds are pretty good expectations will have changed for some of them by the end of training camp.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the best and worst case expectations for each player (players and links listed at the bottom). We’ll also try and come up with “realistic expectations,” but those extremes of best and worst will give us a framework heading into training camp. I want best and worst to be somewhat measured in realism, so we won’t have “gets cut” as the worst case scenario for every player. The same holds true for pie in the sky optimism.
Today, we’ll look at running back Kelvin Taylor. The 49ers selected the Florida Gator product in the sixth round with one of their two comp picks in that round. He joins a depth chart that includes Carlos Hyde, Mike Davis, Shaun Draughn, DuJuan Harris, and Kendall Gaskins.
Best case scenario
He won’t be starting, but he becomes a firm complementary option behind Carlos Hyde. If Hyde suffers an injury, he becomes the first guy off the bench to take his snaps. He ends up with over 100 carries, and potentially 15-20 receptions. I would say the best comparison would be Kendall Hunter’s rookie season, with a bump in his yards per rushing attempt.
Worst case scenario
He struggles in training camp and the team decides he is not a fit on the 53-man roster. I suppose this could include making the roster and being inactive virtually the entire season, but in reality, if he cannot beat out some of the veterans on the roster for a spot, getting cut would be the worst case for him. A sixth round pick has few guarantees, so getting cut would not be the craziest thing to happen.
I think he makes the 53-man roster, but is unable to entirely dislodge some combination Shaun Draughn, DuJuan Harris, and/or Mike Davis. He gets some work with the offense, but ends up primarily on special teams. I think realistically, we’d be talking something more like 50-60 carries and targets in his rookie season. I suppose that’s mostly just throwing some fairly numbers out there, but what do you think?
1 (7). DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon (best case/worst case)
1 (28). Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford (best case/worst case)
3 (5). Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State (best case/worst case)
4 (35). Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU (best case/worst case)
5 (3). Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian State (best case/worst case)
5 (6). John Theus, OT, Georgia (best case/worst case)
5 (35). Fahn Cooper, OT, Ole Miss
6 (32). Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech (best case/worst case)
6 (36). Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida (best case/worst case)
6 (38). Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State (best case/worst case)
7 (28). Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky