Round 5, Pick No. 142 Overall: Safety Tre Flowers
Original Pick: Cornerback D.J. Reed
Round 3 was a bit too early for the 49ers to start experimenting with players, as was the case with Tarvarius Moore. Round 5, however, seems much more appropriate.
That’s what the Seattle Seahawks, who run an identical Cover 3 system as San Francisco, did with former safety, turned cornerback Tre Flowers after selecting him in the fifth round at No. 146 overall. Four picks earlier, the Niners grabbed nickel cornerback D.J. Reed.
Reed ended up flashing some versatility over his rookie season, playing the nickel, free safety and contributing on special teams. He might be a long-term answer in the 49ers secondary. But Flowers could have been a smarter choice.
The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Flowers is the prototypical boundary corner in this Seattle-like defense. He ended up starting all 16 games for the Seahawks, too, posting an impressive six passes defended and three forced fumbles.
Meanwhile, the 49ers had all kinds of issues at outside cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.