San Francisco 49ers: Early look at team needs in 2019 NFL Draft

"THE PICK IS IN" for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2018 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
"THE PICK IS IN" for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2018 NFL Draft (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 09: Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after recovering a fumble in the first half of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /


Pressing Needs: Safety Depth, Potential Starting Cornerback

A bonus for San Francisco, John Lynch has never shied away from trying to improve at every position. It’s something Trent Baalke wasn’t able to do, largely hinging hopes on players he selected who never panned out.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers made moves to address their secondary during the offseason, namely bringing in veteran cornerback Richard Sherman in free agency and using three of their 2018 draft picks on defensive backs, Tarvarius Moore, Marcell Harris and D.J. Reed.

Sherman, 30 years old, will have two more years on his contract following this season. The hope is Moore, converting to cornerback from safety, is the long-term replacement. But one has to inevitably acknowledge the transition might not go as smoothly as planned. If Moore ends up flourishing into a starter’s role the next season or two, great. If not, a boundary cornerback suddenly rises up the rank of needs.

Same with safety depth. The Niners are all but certain to move on from veteran defensive back Jimmie Ward after his fifth-year option expires following 2018. And while safeties Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert are cemented in as the starters for the foreseeable future, finding adequate depth should be a priority.

Especially considering sixth-round rookie Marcell Harris, who suffered a season-long Achilles injury in 2017, landed on injured reserve with a hamstring issue to start this year. He might be destined to become yet another failed injury-risk experiment by San Francisco.