With the recent signing of free agent running back Kendall Gaskins, the San Francisco 49ers once again have a full 90-man roster. With training camp now less than a month away, Niner Noise takes a look at who could be a hidden gem for the 2016 season.
We already know who the good 49ers players are. But what about the players who don’t get as much recognition?
This list can include the recent late-round draft picks, the UDFAs, the up-and-coming players and even the players who we might perceive today as “busts.”
From the draft we should include defensive lineman Ronald Blair, tackles John Theus and Fahn Cooper, running back Kelvin Taylor and cornerback Prince Charles Iworah. Quarterback Jeff Driskel will not play this season barring some unimaginable circumstances and wide receiver Aaron Burbridge is almost certain to play.
In terms of the up-and-coming guys, we should include receiver Bruce Ellington, tight end Blake Bell, running back Mike Davis and corners Kenneth Acker and Keith Reaser.
Then, for the borderline “bust” players, we should include tight end Vance McDonald, defensive lineman (now outside linebacker/EDGE) Tank Carradine, linebacker Corey Lemonier and guard Brandon Thomas.
For this exercise, only five of these players will be looked at for the 2016 season. This will be an opinion piece which is based on last year’s statistics and grades, and by no means will be exhaustive.
We all have certain players we like more than others, so not everyone will agree with the selections. Remember, we are projecting who might be a hidden gem for this season, not who will guarantee to be a new Niners star.
So with this off the chest, let’s get started!
Next: Bruce Ellington