49ers 5 biggest needs after first wave of NFL free agency

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jason Verrett, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett (22) Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

The 49ers made some calculated moves in NFL free agency, including re-signing Trent Williams and Kyle Juszczyk, but these five needs remain.

San Francisco 49ers fans no longer have to worry about eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams leaving the team for other pastures in 2021.

Williams signed a lucrative six-year, $138 million extension on March 17, solidifying the left side of the Niners offensive line. And while fans were still waking up to the news Williams was being retained, San Francisco also made the push to acquire former Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack, who’ll take over for the incumbent, Weston Richburg, who is expected to retire after missing all of 2020 with a serious knee injury suffered late in 2019.

Just like that, the 49ers O-line seems all but set. There’s going to be a need to bolster the depth, of course, but that could be said of most positions. And at least with Williams remaining and Mack now in the process of being rostered, the many reserves who were forced into starting roles last season can revert back to being backups.

Additionally, the Niners retained fullback Kyle Juszczyk and cornerbacks, Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley, while also adding EDGE Samson Ebukam to supplement the pass-rushing depth.

Yet there are still some pressing roster needs to be addressed, either via free agency still or the upcoming NFL Draft.

Including these five.

No. 5: 49ers still need cornerback depth and one starter

Bringing Moseley and Verrett back on the cheap was a smart move. But there’s still a pressing need to fill one of the vacancies in nickel packages.

Unless San Francisco does what it did in the middle of the night on March 17, Pacific Time, with Williams and Mack, the team will still have a need to either re-sign or replace nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams, who was arguably more important a retain target than Verrett.

Williams could still re-sign, or perhaps the 49ers onboard a younger and cheaper replacement. Either way, it’s going to be a need.

One of the potential ways the Niners could go about this, particularly if Williams leaves, is to go after his backup in 2020, Jamar Taylor, who is also a free agent yet played well enough before suffering an ACL tear. Or San Francisco could go after a cheaper option on the boundary, moving Moseley in to cover the slot. That’s an option, too.

Still, despite the retention of both Verrett and Moseley, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the 49ers spend at least two of their nine draft picks on cornerbacks, thereby giving them time to develop instead of thrusting them into starting roles right away.