49ers NFL Draft: 5 prospects by position to target with No. 12 pick
By Peter Panacy
49ers NFL Draft Target No. 2: Cornerback Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
The 49ers are paying the price for avoiding the cornerback spot in last year’s NFL Draft despite it being labeled as fairly deep at the position.
Entering 2021, the Niners are now poised to lose corners Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams, Jason Verrett, Dontae Johnson, Ahkello Witherspoon and Jamar Taylor to free agency. Even depth cornerback Emmanuel Moseley is a restricted free agent and isn’t guaranteed to return.
While San Francisco might look to re-sign one or two of those names, it’s pretty apparent it’ll need some fresh faces within the secondary, both to round out the depth chart and potentially emerge as long-term starting options.
Few in this year’s NFL Draft have the build, accolades and pedigree as Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who is neck-and-neck in line with Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley to be the first at his position selected on draft day.
But in Surtain’s case, the 6-foot-1, 203-pound defensive back has all the intangibles to thrive either in a press-man or zone-heavy coverage scheme, and there aren’t too many elements in his game worth criticizing.
As far as pure positional need goes, no other position should be as demanding as cornerback.
So if the 49ers made Surtain their top pick in Round 1, few would complain.