49ers roster: 3 players who need to step up in a big way

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Emmanuel Moseley, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (41) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley

In many ways, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley was put on watch, thanks to the 49ers’ actions in the NFL Draft, which included selecting rookie corners Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir.

Neither Thomas nor Lenoir should be expected to start right away, but their long-term development could directly endanger Moseley’s status with the team in 2022 and beyond.

In the immediate future, though, Moseley is likely to be tasked with starting on the boundary alongside the veteran, Jason Verrett. A year ago, enjoying a clean slate of health for the first time since 2015, Verrett looked the part of a true No. 1 shutdown corner.

Should that continue again, it’s highly likely Moseley winds up being a target for opposing quarterbacks.

At times, Moseley has looked equal to the task. In 2019, when Moseley was thrust into a starting job, Pro Football Focus awarded him with a quality 70.0 overall grade, yet that figure diminished significantly last year over the course of 12 games played and eight starts, falling to 58.3.

Having just turned 25 years old, Moseley is still young and developing. But he’s reaching that crucial turning point in his career where he could emerge as a solid starter or revert to being little more than a decent backup.

Considering the lack of proven depth the Niners currently have at the position, though, Moseley better end up looking more like the 2019 version of himself to ensure success this year.