49ers NFL Draft grades: Day 3 reinforcements net good results

Talanoa Hufanga #15 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Talanoa Hufanga #15 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (0) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Round 5, Pick No. 172 Overall: 49ers selection of CB Deommodore Lenoir

Essentially all of the Niners’ day-three picks are intended to be backups and reserves with some possibly having the long-term hope of emerging as starters.

This could be the case with Deommodore Lenoir, whose 5-foot-10 frame projects best as a nickel cornerback. While San Francisco already has its starter in place here, K’Waun Williams, it’s crucial to note Williams is signed only through 2021 and will be a free agent a year from now. With him turning 30 years old before the start of the regular season, it sure makes sense for the 49ers to find a cheaper, younger commodity to cover the slot.

Lenoir is one of those players who flashed at Oregon. The Pac-12 is so offensive-heavy, defensive players making it to the NFL Draft truly have to stand out, and Lenoir does just that. When watching Ducks games, Lenoir is all over the place and showcased some NFL-level talent back in 2019 with 31 tackles, an interception, one forced fumble and seven passes broken up.

Like Williams, Lenoir plays bigger than his size would indicate, so that’s a good measure. At the same time, his aggressive tendencies can get him into trouble in coverage, so it wouldn’t be too shocking to see him suffer some early gaffes when he doesn’t have help around him on other levels.

Lenoir has a high ceiling. But there’s going to be a lot of growing pains along the way, making this a risky but potentially exciting Round 5 selection.