Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
Nathan Palmer (No. 89)
Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford
This is the sexy name everyone mentions when 49er rookie free agents are the topic of discussion.
The local prospect is an absolute burner, having been clocked as low as 4.28 in the 40 and officially at 4.36, the fastest time at the scouting combine.
He also impressed coaches in the initial rookie minicamp, as well as in recent offseason workouts.
The problem, though, is Owusu’s serious history of head trauma. He suffered three concussions within a span of just over a year.
(To be sure, Harbaugh and the 49ers medical staff gave him full medical clearance.)
Concussion history or not, Owusu has not always displayed consistent hands or the requisite skills of an all-around receiver. He still needs time to develop.
He won’t make the 46-man roster due to the solidified group of veteran wide receivers. To wit, first-round pick A.J. Jenkins will not likely see game-time action until later in the season.
On the other hand, Owusu will sit atop the charts on the practice squad if another NFL club (however unlikely) does not pick him up before he gets there.
Nathan Palmer, WR, Northern Illinois
The 5’11", 195-pound Palmer has proven himself as one of the best rookies throughout training camp. Despite lacking all-world speed, he catches balls well in traffic and has a knack for beating starting 49ers defensive backs.
Matt Maiocco considers him, like Owusu, a strong candidate for the practice squad if he manages to escape the collective gaze of opposing NFL franchises.
Brian Tyms, WR, Florida A&M
Tyms, meanwhile, has had his fair share of good, and not so good moments in camp.
On the positive side, he’s been the offensive star of the practice field at times.
He’s also been the poster boy of a young kid with noteworthy character issues.
One way or another, his position behind Owusu, Palmer and the starting wideouts will deem him expendable once the season begins.