The San Francisco 49ers may easily add a cornerback in the 2019 NFL Draft, meaning Monday’s cornerback workouts at the scouting combine are of extreme importance. Here are five the Niners should pay close attention to.
Cornerback is one of the San Francisco 49ers‘ top needs this offseason, and finding either an upgrade over No. 2 corner Ahkello Witherspoon and/or a long-term replacement for the veteran, Richard Sherman, should be a priority for general manager John Lynch.
A lot will be determined by what happens with the Niners’ actions in free agency later this month.
But the 2019 NFL Draft is also an option, too. And with defensive backs working out on Monday, March 4 at the NFL Scouting Combine, Lynch and his scouts will unquestionably be paying close attention to cornerback performances on the combine’s final on-field events.
Here are five who should garner the closest attention from San Francisco.
The 49ers will primarily look to bolster their boundary cornerbacks this offseason, and the prototypical body type for defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s Cover 3 scheme is a long, lanky defensive back capable of operating well in zone coverage.
That’s where Alabama’s Saivion Smith comes in, likely as a day-three target for San Francisco.
Smith measured in at the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds. His 33 1/4-inch arms are long, and he used those well to generate a good press at the line of scrimmage. During his 2018 junior season, Smith managed three interceptions and five pass breakups.
There are going to be questions with his coverage skills, and he might be better suited for zone duties anyway.
But a good test at the combine will be seeing how well he runs a 40-yard time, as NFL Draft Scout pegs him somewhere near the 4.52 mark.
A strong showing here, as well as his high jump, could be enough to convince San Francisco he’s worth a Round 4 or 5 pick if he winds up falling that far.