Predicting 49ers Starting Lineup After 2016 NFL Draft
By Bobby Horne
- Tramaine Brock
- Dontae Johnson
- Kenneth Acker
- Rashard Robinson
- Will Redmond
- Jimmie Ward (NB)
Brock and Johnson get the nod here. They are the best outside corners on the roster and will be the starters going into Week 1. Jimmie Ward will continue to play the nickel corner spot where he has been successful.
General manager Trent Baalke said this, during his draft presser on Comcast Sports, about the possibility of transitioning Ward to the safety position:
"Well, you can never have enough cover guys. As we know, in this game, 67-percent of what you do in this league is nickel and dime. And to get a young man that can come in here and compete, he can play outside and he can play inside. Jimmie does move down in the nickel and in the dime stuff too. So, there’s going to be competition around and Jimmie’s making the transition as well back to the back half at the safety position. So, the versatility of Jimmie to go along with the versatility of this young man and the versatility of the group, we got a lot of young players on that side that finally got some playing experience last year and I would look for that group to step up and really make that second-year jump for a lot of those guys, both as far as strength, knowledge of the game and just the understanding of NFL football."
Until it’s made official, Ward will be the nickel corner.
Acker will provide a solid rotation at the outside corner spots all year long. Robinson will serve as an outside corner backup who has the talent to compete for snaps alongside Acker.
Redmond is coming off an ACL tear in October but is reported to be on track for training camp. If Redmond is healthy, we should see Ward make the transition to safety while Redmond takes the nickel spot.