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 wrap this up with a look at offensive lineman Fahn Cooper. The 49ers selected the Ole Miss product in the fifth round with a comp pick. He played right and left tackle at Ole Miss, filling in for first round pick Laremy Tunsil during the latter’s suspension. He has been playing right tackle and right guard on the 49ers second and third team offensive lines.
Best case scenario
Joshua Garnett is likely going to be playing at right guard, but right tackle remains up for grabs. Fellow rookie John Theus has been getting work there and at left tackle. Erik Pears and Trent Brown seem like co-favorites at right tackle, but could Cooper slip in there? His size seems to make him better suited at guard, but maybe he surprises us. I’ve tried to go with more realistic best case scenarios, but given the questions at right tackle, I don’t know if anything would surprise me.
Worst case scenario
Technically, he might not make the roster, but removing that scenario, the worst case would be he is inactive the entire season. There is enough competition that the team might look to develop him a little further, and so he spends the season inactive.
I think he makes the roster, and is active for some but not all games. Ideally, he ends up as a primary backup, but I could see him bouncing in and out of the active game-day roster throughout his rookie season. When he is active, I could see him getting more work as a sixth lineman in heavier formations. I think we’d all prefer the starting line remain healthy, and Cooper not get opportunities because others got hurt.
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