No. 4: Cornerback D.J. Reed
San Francisco 49ers
Like tight end, the 49ers have some question marks at cornerback heading into Week 2 of the preseason.
On a positive note, Richard Sherman is back, which will likely push the veteran, Jimmie Ward, back to nickel corner in advance of the Niners’ exhibition against the Houston Texans on Aug. 18. But Ward struggled against Dallas, including giving up an unsightly 30-yard touchdown to Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup in the first quarter Thursday.
Ward likely starts again in Houston, taking over for the injured K’Waun Williams. But Ward isn’t the future, whereas fifth-round rookie D.J. Reed is.
Reed saw plenty of action versus the Cowboys, registering three tackles during the process. And the amount of field time is likely to stay pretty high between now and the regular season.
In practice Sunday, Reed managed to intercept 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard on a pass intended for wide receiver Victor Bolden. So while Reed is still primarily seeing second-unit time, he’s making the most of it.
As long as Williams remains out, Reed should benefit.