How Kenneth Acker Fits with the San Francisco 49ers

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How Kenneth Acker Fits with the San Francisco 49ers
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Southern Methodist cornerback Kenneth Acker adds competition to San Francisco's secondary.

The San Francisco 49ers' run on cornerbacks in the 2014 NFL draft continued, as general manager Trent Baalke added Southern Methodist corner Kenneth Acker with the team's first pick (No. 180 overall) in Round 6.

A defensive back who also spent time in the return game, Acker posted 159 tackles at Southern Methodist, with six interceptions and 32 passes defended over four years of his collegiate career, per Sports-Reference.com.

With the sudden influx of defensive backs the 49ers took in the 2014 draft, Acker will have a chance to compete for a roster spot on San Francisco's depth chart.

He also has serviceability on special teams, giving the 49ers coaching staff even more options when it comes to his use and development.

 

USA TODAY Sports
Acker had a strong performance against Texas A&M last season.

Positives

When Southern Methodist faced off against Texas A&M last season, it lost by a score of 42-13. Yet Acker was a big part of shutting down top-tier collegiate wideout Mike Evans—limiting him to two catches for 57 yards, per Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee.

Here is what Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com had to say about him:

CB Kenneth Acker (6-0, 190, 4.51)
A player with the size/speed combination teams want at the position, Acker had 16 passes defended in 2013, including a team-best three interceptions.

Acker is a solid all-around athlete who has shown some flashes of being a ball hawk at times. His versatility on special teams could also provide some additional options for San Francisco's coaching staff.

 

Bob Levey/Associated Press
Acker could use some work when it comes to his physicality.

Negatives

While Acker showed plenty of promise in zone coverage, press-based defenses may be something relatively new to him, as suggested by his CBS Sports profile page.

This will likely be a factor when Acker is asked to utilize his stature to compete more physically against some of the bigger-bodied receivers he will face at the NFL level.

If he is able to do this—and possibly add more bulk to his frame—Acker may be able to make the adjustment. Until that point, questions will remain as to whether or not he can transition over to the NFL level.

 

Final Thoughts

Acker provides yet another cornerback option San Francisco picked up during this year's draft class.

Whether or not he winds up making the roster is yet to be determined. However he does add another gifted defensive back to the mix, which should at least provide some added competition during the 49ers' training camp.

At this point in the draft, Acker is not exactly a steal. But with so many late-round picks in San Francisco's arsenal, the 49ers can afford to target specific prospects regardless of where their projections land.

Acker is one such pick.

If he turns into something viable, San Francisco benefits even more. If not, the competition will at least be there among this newly crowded 49ers secondary.

 

As always, be sure to stay tuned to this author's coverage and analysis of each 49ers pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

 

Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report covering the San Francisco 49ers. Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.

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