clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: OL Fahn Cooper

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to rookie offensive lineman Fahn Cooper.

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 invested heavily in their offensive line this offseason. They signed free agent Zane Beadles to likely start at left guard. They then traded up in the first round to draft Stanford guard Joshua Garnett. They followed that up by selecting John Theus and Fahn Cooper in the fifth round, and then giving their largest amount of UDFA guaranteed money to former Oregon defensive lineman Alex Balducci. Given the offensive line struggles the last two seasons, it was not surprising they invest heavily to re-build some of that depth.

Fahn Cooper spent two seasons in junior college before transferring to Ole Miss. He started all 26 games at Ole Miss, playing at both tackle positions. As a junior, he started 11 games at right tackle and two at left tackle. As a senior, it was a more even split, with seven starts at left tackle and six at right tackle. The reason for the senior split was Laremy Tunsil’s suspension. Cooper replaced Tunsil during the latter’s absence and all reports are incredibly positive about his time at left tackle.

During the 49ers offseason workout program, while John Theus played both left and right tackle, Cooper focused on the right side, getting work at right tackle and right guard. In the Bleacher Report draft day analysis, friend of the site Matt Miller said there is a decent chance he could kick in to guard. Cooper is talented, but he does not have the kind of size that normally ends up playing tackle in the NFL. That’s not to say he can’t, but he could find himself in more of a utility role initially.

Scouting reports

Was the third of three fifth round draft picks (174th overall) in this year’s draft out of the University of Mississippi. During his two seasons at Mississippi, he started all 26 games for the Rebels. In 2015, Cooper was the Kent Hull Trophy winner, presented to Mississippi’s college offensive lineman of the year, as he started all 13 games and helped Ole Miss lead the SEC in scoring (40.8 points per game), total offense (517.8 yds. per game) and passing offense (334.7 yds. per game), which ranked in the top 10 nationally and set school records in each category. In 2014, he started all 13 games. Cooper transferred to Ole Miss after spending the 2013 season at the College of DuPage, where he earned Second-Team NJCAA All-America honors. He began his collegiate career at Bowling Green, where he started all 13 games in 2012 and was part of an offensive line that averaged 153.4 rushing yards per game and a unit that allowed just 15 sacks in 13 games. Cooper redshirted in 2011. A 23-year old native of Crystal Lake, IL, Cooper attended Crystal Lake South High School.

Basic info

Age: 23
Experience: Rookie
Height: 6’5
Weight: 306 lbs

Cap status

Signed a four-year rookie contract, with a signing bonus of $184,384. His 2016 base salary will be $450,000, and his cap hit will be $496,096.

What to expect in 2016

The competition for offensive line depth is going to be fierce in training camp. If we assume Beadles and Garnett will be starting at left and right guard, that leaves right tackle, and two or three reserve spots up for grabs. Cooper got right guard and right tackle work in OTAs and minicamp, but I could see the team try and get him some left guard work as well. My guess is Cooper ends up as one of the inactives for much of his rookie season, but injuries could shuffle things so that he ends up as the first interior lineman off the bench.

Odds of making the roster

Fifth round picks are not exactly big money picks, but I’d say that gets him at least one year on the 53-man roster. The competition will be interesting between him, John Theus, Brandon Thomas, Marcus Martin, Ian Silberman, and whomever loses out between Erik Pears and Trent Brown. Martin is potentially competing with Alex Balducci for reserve center work (Balducci has gotten time there and at guard), but there is potentially one more interior line opportunity.