3 things 49ers must accomplish during 2021 training camp
By Peter Panacy
49ers To-Do Item No. 2: Iron out the depth in the secondary
San Francisco has a lot of positions on its 90-man offseason roster that are awfully top-heavy, and such is the case within the secondary where the starters are all but determined, but it’s anyone’s guess how the reserves will be formulated for the regular-season roster.
As for those starters, it’ll be Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt at safety. Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams and Emmanuel Moseley are the assumed starters at cornerback.
Aside from Moseley, though, the remaining four all have some notable injury concerns, so it would be prudent for the 49ers to determine the best possible options as backups, not just one-game fillers, but players who might be needed to step into voids for extended periods of time.
Veteran cornerback Dontae Johnson suddenly becomes a high-profile commodity as a backup, especially with the two rookies, Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, likely not ready to assume full-time roles in a pinch.
The Niners’ safety depth is a little more stable with three veteran backups capable of starting — Tony Jefferson, Tavon Wilson and Marcell Harris — along with an up-and-coming rookie, Talanoa Hufanga, a player to watch.
All told, though, the sheer number of injury concerns probably makes this a much higher priority than it would otherwise be if those starters had a generally solid track record of health.