The San Francisco 49ers brought in a serious speed infusion at wide receiver when they signed Marquise Goodwin this offseason. He had a big touchdown in practice on Tuesday, and as the 49ers prepare for training camp, he will get the opportunity to be a game-breaker over the top.
The question now is who in the 49ers secondary will be able to hang with him in practice. Goodwin was asked which defensive back could hang with him, and he offered some praise for Rashard Robinson.
“I like 33, Rashard, he’s definitely got speed, as far as I’ve seen — you know, within workouts. We haven’t really did one-on-ones, anything like that. it’s kinda scripted for success, as I should say I guess.”
OTAs and minicamp do not allow for live contact, so there are no bump and run drills, or any other real physicality in practice. There will be plenty of incidental contact, but not enough to really show how the competition might go in normal game action.
Robinson ran a 4.49 40 at the 2016 NFL Combine, and then ran a 4.40 40 at his Pro Day. He stepped in as a rookie and was an immediate impact player on a pretty bad defense. He worked as the nickel, but got some starting time when Jimmie Ward got hurt. He is expected to secure the No. 1 cornerback role in 2017, leading a cornerback group that is suddenly a lot younger than in recent years.
Considering Robinson did not play football for a year-and-a-half due to off-field issues at LSU, it’s an impressive turnaround in a short time period.