49ers NFL Draft 2021: 5 best targets available on Day 2
By Peter Panacy
49ers Day 2 NFL Draft Target No. 1: Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
The idea of adding Ifeatu Melifonwu on day two of the NFL Draft makes a lot of sense, particularly if the Niners can land him in Round 3.
They won’t have that luxury with Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., who easily could have been selected in the first round if a team was looking to capitalize on his versatility to play a nickel back or on the boundary.
San Francisco 49ers
True, Samuel is a bit on the short side at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds. But Samuel, who recorded three interceptions for the Seminoles last year over eight games and registered 20 pass breakups the last two years, plays much bigger than his size would indicate. And he’s more than adept at playing against bigger-bodied wideouts, too.
Plus, San Francisco has somewhat shifted away from the above 6-foot cornerbacks they’ve traditionally gone with, namely with both Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley coming in shorter than that mark but playing on the boundary.
Samuel could be easily one of those plug-and-play cornerbacks who’d compete for a starting job right away. And the shift to a zone-style defense could do him a lot of good, too, where he can use his speedy converging skills to steal away interceptions just like his Pro Bowl-caliber father, Asante Samuel Sr.
The youthful Samuel probably won’t last long into Round 2, meaning the 49ers may have to trade up to get him.
If they did, however, it would be an excellent add.
Day two of the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off on Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET.