The San Francisco 49ers are overhauling their cornerback depth chart, with Tramaine Brock released and Jimmie Ward moving to safety. The team drafted Ahkello Witherspoon, and in a perfect world, he would emerge this year and be paired with Rashard Robinson.
The 49ers spent a fourth round pick on Robinson last season, and it proved to be a strong move. Robinson tweeted out this stat from Pro Football Focus. They rank out players based on most coverage snaps player per reception allowed. In the NFC West, Richard Sherman led the way, and he was followed by Patrick Peterson, and then Robinson.
Robinson had a very solid rookie season. He led all rookie cornerbacks in coverage snaps per reception allowed, ranked third among rookies in fewest yards per coverage snap, and ranked tenth among all cornerbacks (minimum 250 coverage snaps) in coverage snaps per reception.
Robinson slipped in the draft due to off-field issues that resulted in him not playing in 2015. He was suspended midway through the 2014 season, and then kicked off the team after the season ended. He remained out of trouble his rookie season with the 49ers, but it is something that will remain on our radar to some extent. In Lance Zierlein’s scouting report, he got this quotation from an anonymous SEC defensive coach:
"I'm not sure he's a bad kid, but I know he hates school. He's really tough -- typical south Florida kid. You know what you get. The interviews will work themselves out for better or worse, but you keep things simple for him and let him chase one guy around the field all day. He's really good at that.”
If Robinson can stay out of trouble, his raw talent is impressive. There are some questions about his size. He missed two games (and the bye week) with an MCL sprain, but otherwise stayed healthy for the most part. He clearly has the necessary confidence, and a solid rookie season will only help that. Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson both have more experience, but Robinson is the guy who can take firm control of the top of the depth chart this summer and into the 2017 season.