2016 NFL Draft: Early Projections for 49ers 11 Picks
By Rob Lowder
Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
With their fourth-round compensatory selection, the 49ers selected troubled, but talented cornerback Rashard Robinson, formerly from LSU.
Having issues, both behaviorally and academically, Robinson was dismissed from LSU’s football team in 2015 and failed to re-enroll the following spring semester. Shortly after, he declared for the NFL draft.
In a move which Baalke has shied away from for quite some time, he ignored Rashard’s red flags and chose to gamble on his intriguing ability, as highlighted by Mark Dulgerian of NFL.com:
"Robinson has just 8 career starts under his belt, but that tells you what the 49ers think about his upside. Robinson is a long, press corner leaking with talent. If he stayed clean off the field, he’s likely a top 40 pick. There are plenty of question marks, but he’s an early candidate for steal of the draft."
Robinson’s selection also signals a clear effort by Baalke to increase the competition at the cornerback position. With 10 corners on the roster, his hopes are those that emerge on the final 53-man roster will be ready to contribute in a starting role.
Should Robinson stay on a steady path, he still faces an uphill battle to overtake one of the more experienced cornerbacks like Kenneth Acker, Dontae Johnson or Tramaine Brock for the starting role.
Projection: Competitive Depth
Next: Ronald Blair