No. 3: SF 49ers Cornerback Ambry Thomas
Sticking with the 49ers rookie theme here, another first-year player who might be receiving a bit too much hype early on, therefore becoming the recipient of too-lofty expectations, is former Michigan cornerback Ambry Thomas.
Thomas, a third-round draft pick, probably has a better track towards starting in 2021 than Deommodore Lenoir, if for no other reason than the former was drafted earlier.
But like Lenoir, Thomas has some aggressive tendencies that could ultimately work in his favor but will need to be honed as to not generate too many pass-interference calls at the pro level.
Yet another kicker with regards to Thomas is the fact he opted out of the 2020 campaign, although there was some thinking the 6-foot corner could have been a late first- or probably a second-round pick had he played last year and continued his upward trajectory as far as prospects go.
Still, Thomas’ development is likely to take a bit longer than some may otherwise like. Some scouting reports called out Thomas not being a total fit in zone-style offenses. If the Niners stick to this defensive scheme employing zone, Thomas might take a lot longer to acclimate.
Even if San Francisco starts switching to more man coverage, which is possible, Thomas still has to knock some of the proverbial “rust” off from not playing last year.