Cornerback D.J. Reed Taking Advantage of His Opportunity
While neither injury is expected to be serious or of the long-term variety, both open up opportunities for other defensive backs to see some extra reps. And one of those is rookie defensive back D.J. Reed, whom the Niners have primarily been playing at safety throughout training camp.
Taken in Round 5 of this year’s draft, the 5-foot-9 former Kansas State defensive back prides himself on having the ability to be a shutdown cornerback. And while he’s been mostly solid throughout camp, sometimes going through the many nuances of transitioning to the pros, Reed was able to make the most of his chances on Monday.
During one-on-one drills, Reed was locked in on San Francisco slot receiver Trent Taylor. As shown in the play below (h/t KNBR 680’s Brad Almquist), Reed stayed right with his man, forcing a pass out of Taylor’s reach and ultimately preventing the completion:
On top of that, Almquist reported Reed was getting the first-team reps in Williams’ absence, which bodes well for the rookie’s roster chances.
The 49ers’ cornerback depth chart is pretty stacked in training camp, meaning Reed will need more performances like these to solidify his role.
And it helps Williams will most likely be sidelined for San Francisco’s exhibition opener this Thursday, giving Reed more chances to impress the coaching staff.