San Francisco 49ers: 10 Players Entering a Make-or-Break Season in 2016
By Peter Panacy
No. 8: Cornerback Tramaine Brock
Cornerback Tramaine Brock is the most experienced player the 49ers have at this position. And, since being promoted to a starting role, Brock has been one of the better Niners defensive backs on the roster.
Last year, Brock posted a plus-3.1 overall grade, per PFF, which was second best for all 49ers defensive backs, just behind Jimmie Ward. And the 27-year-old veteran also was tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.
So why is 2016 a make-or-break year for him?
First, consider the youthful additions the Niners made during this year’s draft as well as in 2014. That alone adds competition, and if an up-and-coming cornerback manages to make some impact, Brock could wind up losing a starting job sooner rather than later.
Niner Noise’s Jerod Brown put together a piece why Brock might be in danger of losing his starting job this season. Brown wrote:
"Nobody has more long-term pressure to perform than Brock. The team has loaded the depth chart behind him with three or four players looking to take his position. Beating one of those men isn’t enough. Brock will have to continually standout as the best corner on the team."
Brock will probably make the team without much issue. He’s also signed through 2017, although the dead money associated to next year’s contract is only $750,000, per Over the Cap.
If the 49ers’ younger corners continue to develop and emerge, Brock’s future with the team will be in doubt beyond 2016. He’ll have to prove he belongs and the Niners can’t afford to part ways with him.
Next: No. 7: OLB Corey Lemonier