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 head into training camp with some solid depth at the safety position. Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea are set to be the starters, with Jaquiski Tartt serving as the primary backup. The team also has L.J. McCray, and the potential of Jimmie Ward and Marcus Cromartie as safeties, but if everybody stays healthy (far from a guarantee), Tartt is the primary backup.
The 49ers spent a second round pick on Tartt last season, and he quickly got into the lineup after Bethea suffered a torn pectoral muscle. Tartt displayed the inconsistency of a rookie, but showed signs of an impact player in a defense that struggled quite a bit. Now he returns in 2016 likely serving in a hybrid role, mixing safety and linebacker work. Steph and Tracy discuss Tartt in the video above, and I’ve got a few more details below.
Experience: Second year
Weight: 220 lbs
Signed to four-year rookie contract. He will earn a base salary of $613,955, and received a $50,000 workout bonus. His cap hit this season is $1,144,776.
Why he might improve
He has one year under his belt, with significant starting experience. Inconsistency was an issue, but with that critical experience last season, he is in a position to take a step forward. A hybrid role that could include work primarily in the 49ers nickel and dime sub-packages would put him in a position to play to his strengths. If Reid and Bethea stay healthy, Tartt can focus on being the thumper down closer to the box, and not having to spend as much time in deeper coverage.
Why he might regress
It’s less about regression and more about just not seeing him improve on last season. Additionally, there would be concerns about improper usage by Jim O’Neil and the defensive coaching staff.
Odds of making the roster
The second year player is a lock to make the roster. His specific role is something that has yet to be fully determined, but he’ll get plenty of opportunities this season.