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 cornerback Prince Charles Iworah. The 49ers selected the Western Kentucky product in the seventh round with a pick acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in the trade up to get Joshua Garnett.
Best case scenario
Iworah is a gifted athlete, but raw as a cornerback. He appears to be a developmental prospect at this point. That being said, his raw tools could be enough to secure a roster spot. The best case for Iworah would be earning a roster spot as a core special teamer. He could potentially get some cornerback work, but as a rookie, his best chance of getting to an NFL level is on the coverage and return units. Some might say he could go the way of a Marcus Cooper or someone like that, getting significant cornerback work early in his career, but I just don’t see that yet.
Worst case scenario
Seventh round picks frequently don’t last, so the worst case scenario is the team releases him and does not sign him to the practice squad. A tough worst case might be that he is claimed by another team and emerges with them. But really, the worst case is he is not on the 49ers 53-man roster or practice squad in 2016.
I see him getting released at the end of training camp and signing to the practice squad. However, it would not surprise me if he was promoted to the 53-man roster if any special teams players get hurt. Special teams is not easy, but with that kind of athleticism, he would have a good chance of making an instant impact. In this instance, the best case is really not out of the realm of the possible.
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