49ers vs. Chargers: Winners, losers from preseason Week 2 win
By Peter Panacy
49ers Winner: Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir
It’s fair to be skeptical about rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir. In fact, it’s fair to be skeptical about any defensive back not labeled a plug-and-play starter, and the realization Lenoir was a fifth-round draft pick this year only reinforces that.
While Lenoir had some struggles during offseason workouts and training camp, his two preseason efforts have been exemplary. The 49ers have benefited from Lenoir’s press-man coverage, and the former Oregon Duck has shown the kind of gameday speed that wasn’t necessarily on display during his pro-day workouts.
And then there’s this, from Pro Football Focus’ Jeff Deeney:
Again, Lenoir hasn’t had to go up against top-tier receiving talent over the entire duration of his time on the field, and there will understandably be setbacks and growing pains once the regular season begins.
But fifth-round picks are rarely guaranteed roster spots, and even so, they usually make up the back end of the roster.
In Lenoir’s case, the Niners have potentially identified a key backup for a position that was initially thought as awfully thin behind its starters.