After an arduous three days of drafting for the future, the San Francisco 49ers appear ready to field an even better team in 2013. They were enterprising throughout the draft, acquiring talent each and every day.
With their last pick of the NFL draft, the 49ers selected CB Marcus Cooper of Rutgers.
He is an under-the-radar prospect, which is expected for the most part. But for a seventh-round pick two picks away from being Mr. Irrelevant, Marcus Cooper is a player to be excited about.
Let’s explore how he fits in with his new team.
How Does Cooper Fit In?
First of all, Marcus Cooper is a 6’2”, 192-pound defensive back who runs in the low 4.40s (h/t 49ers.com). That kind of physical ability is hard to come by, which is why he may turn out to be a late-round steal by San Francisco.
From a scouting perspective, the measurables are there, and he looks good on tape. Fortunately, this organization relies on the coaching staff’s ability to educate and improve the players on the roster.
Cooper is a long, well-built, physical press-corner with upside at safety, if San Francisco were to request the transition. He fits in immediately because the 49ers need more competitive youth in the secondary.
Moreover, the physicality in Cooper’s game makes this a good match. He is just as capable laying the wood and seems to have a knack for initiating high-impact blows.
When it comes to being a defensive back for San Francisco, Cooper looks the part.
His Role in 2013
Again, Cooper is a seventh-rounder, so he is going to have to prove himself in Santa Clara this summer.
In the start of 2013, the 49ers already had four starting-caliber corners in Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox. Then general manager Trent Baalke went ahead and signed All-Pro Nnamdi Asomugha to a one-year deal (h/t 49ers.com).
Right now, Cooper is buried on the depth chart, but there will be eyes on him.
Brown is in a contract year, so if Cooper can rise to the occasion as a rookie, it might give the 49ers more leverage come contract time. It is also fair to assume that the 49ers may part ways with Rogers before his contract is up.
All of San Francisco’s financial dealings are very calculated, and if history has shown us anything, it’s that the 49ers don’t spend big on the secondary.
The fact that the 49ers construct the secondary through the draft and supplement it through free agency gives Cooper an opportunity to earn a roster spot this year.
In order to do that, Cooper will have to show promise as a future role player while contributing on special teams right away. Adding Nick Moody (Florida State) and Marcus Cooper late was likely an attempt to find special-teams aces.
San Francisco’s coverage unit has been on a noticeable decline since the departure of Blake Costanzo.
If Cooper can be a wood-laying banger on special teams, the 49ers will find a spot for him in 2013.
Dylan DeSimone is the San Francisco 49ers' lead columnist for Bleacher Report. A former NFL journalist and fantasy football writer for SB Nation, Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area, Dylan now writes for B/R.
To talk football with Dylan, follow him on Twitter @DeSimone80.