Based on how the offseason is going so far, which 49ers rookie do you expect to make the biggest contribution next season and why?
My prediction: Not Arik Armstead.
Armstead might end up the best player from this draft class down the line, but I doubt he’ll play much next season. I expect Quinton Dial will beat out Armstead for the left defensive end job in the base defense, and I expect the Niners will use defensive linemen other than Armstead in the sub-packages. The Niners need pass-rushers on passing downs, and Armstead isn’t a pass-rusher, not yet at least. He’s a run-stuffer who needs development.
I predict second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt will make the biggest contribution of the Niners’ rookies next season. He’s already standing out during OTAs, according to Louis Riddick of ESPN.
Tartt should be the Niners’ No.1 gunner on special teams next season, and he probably will receive playing time as an extra safety in the Niners’ Dime defense. The Niners will find ways to use him right away.