The San Francisco 49ers brought in a total of 11 draft picks from the 2016 NFL Draft as well as 12 undrafted free agents. These rookies have gone through their first rounds of camp this offseason and are set to compete during training camp. So let’s take a look at the expectation level and projected roles for each Niners rookie this year.
Oh, to be a rookie in the National Football League.
There’s the hazing, running errands for veteran players, getting stuck with the dinner bill and so much more a fresh-faced rookie will endure at the pro level.
Not surprisingly, the level of expectation decreases in each round as the draft moves on. And UDFA selections often have little-to-no expectation level, other than to round out a team’s 90-man roster during the offseason or, maybe, find a way to land onto a practice squad.
But there are exceptions — not just UDFA signings, but also hidden gems emanating from late rounds. Take third-year pro linebacker Aaron Lynch as an example. A fifth-round pick from 2014, Lynch has now emerged as the team’s No. 1 standout pass-rusher.
Yet we shouldn’t immediately expect this to happen all the time. Not even frequently.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the realistic expectations for each 49ers rookie in advance of the 2016 season.
We’ll start with the Niners’ UDFA class.
Next: Undrafted Free Agents