San Francisco 49ers: 10 Young Linchpin Players to Watch over Rest of 2015 Season

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Oct 22, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Kenneth Acker (20) intercepts the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Kenneth Acker

Second-year cornerback Kenneth Acker has been something like a bonus pick after sitting out his 2014 rookie campaign with an injury.

Acker has largely assumed the No. 2 cornerback duties alongside veteran Tramaine Brock and has 42 tackles, six passes defended and three interceptions in this starting role.

The 23-year-old former sixth-round pick also enjoyed his best game versus the Chicago Bears in Week 13 according to Pro Football Focus (h/t Mindi Bach of CSN Bay Area).

The pleasantly surprising thing is young defensive backs tend to struggle early on during their pro careers. Acker, and fellow defensive back Jimmie Ward, have performed amicably well this season and should figure well into San Francisco’s plans in 2016 and beyond.

Speaking of Ward…