With the SF 49ers wrapping up training camp, Niner Noise looks at the class of first-year rookies and predicts odds of each player making the 53-man roster.
The 2020 NFL Draft was important for the SF 49ers, of course, but not for the precise reasons it tends to be for other teams.
Unlike previous years under head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, the current state of the Niners is one of a Super Bowl contender looking to maintain as much dominance and continuity that was seen a year ago at this time.
Retaining 18 of 22 offensive and defensive starters from last year’s 13-3 squad is evidence enough of that.
Yet San Francisco still wants to get top production from its 2020 rookie class, particularly from defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who are two first-round picks expected to replace Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and standout wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, respectively.
And the SF 49ers are hoping the remaining three selections can fill vital depth roles, too, while anything garnered from the undrafted free agents is merely a bonus.
A majority of the Niners’ depth spots have already been filled, meaning there won’t be too much room for the rookie class to make the regular-season roster, let alone provide a serious impact. But that’s not a deterrent from trying to figure out odds of each first-year player making the 53-man roster by Week 1.
Naturally, the road to the 53-man roster will be tougher for UDFA players. But there are some who have a stronger chance than others in recent years.
But before we get to that point, let’s evaluate the odds for those two first-round players, Kinlaw and Aiyuk.
Needless to say, they’re pretty strong.