2016 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers Picks, Grades and Analysis
By Jerod Brown
Round 7, Pick No. 28, 249th Overall
Player: CB Prince Charles Iworah, Western Kentucky
Height/Weight: 5’9″, 192 pounds
With their final pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the 49ers select Prince Charles Iworah at No. 249 overall. Many people were left scratching their heads with decent players still available and the 49ers having already selected two cornerbacks to insert into a crowded position.
Immediately following the selection, NFL Network Analyst Charles Davis said on TV when they sat down to watch tape, Iworah jumped off the screen with elite speed. Davis noted Iworah found his way onto the field because of his track speed.
NFL.com evaluator Lance Zierlein highlighted Iworah’s impressive physical ability, despite his limited experience:
"Has bouncy feet and brings necessary reactive quickness to position. Has twitch and acceleration out of breaks to chase the rabbit. Explosive athlete. Showed off blazing recovery speed at his pro day. Played with an understanding of body positioning versus vertical routes. Will sink into laps of receivers and aggressively attack at the high point. Saw vast improvement in ball production from last season to this."
The 49ers have a project in Iworah, but his 40-yard dash time of 4.32 seconds shows blazing speed which make him worth a look in training camp.
Iworah is immensely under-developed as a football player and will need time to perfect technique in the NFL. Zierlein summed up his opinion on Iworah saying the following:
"Iworah’s tape is a little inconsistent at this time and his inability to mirror and match targets with consistency is troubling as a man-cover cornerback. While I see the explosive athleticism, his actual cover skills need enough fine-tuning that he may have to spend a year stashed on a practice squad."
Iworah’s weakness seems to be that he is a rather impressive athlete but doesn’t have the technique and skill set of a true football player. The 49ers are selecting him under the assumption that, at best, he lands on the practice squad for the coaches to build and work with.
Why He Fits:
In all seriousness, he doesn’t. The 49ers have a loaded cornerback class and there were still valuable players left on the board. Immediately following the 49ers selection of Iworah, the Cleveland Browns selected linebacker Scooby Wright III. If the 49ers were intent on letting the final pick be a developmental project, it makes absolutely no sense to pass on Wright.
Aside from Wright, the 49ers passed on impressive tight end Beau Sandland and other intriguing prospects. The final pick of the 2016 NFL Draft for the 49ers is an incredibly difficult pick to support. Essentially, it’s a throw away pick that the team wasted on a guy that runs fast.
Next: Final Haul