49ers rookie power rankings as 2021 preseason comes to a close

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Deommodore Lenoir, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (38) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Rookie Power Rankings: No. 2

. . . Deommodore Lenoir. 2. player. 42

49ers Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir

Hey, look! Another Round 5 NFL Draft selection. Maybe San Francisco simply knows how to identify hidden gems in this particular round. Just ask tight end George Kittle.

OK, so cornerback Deommodore Lenoir might not have a Kittle-like trajectory ahead of him. But the rate at which Lenoir has ascended from a day-three flier pick who’d merely round out the back end of the secondary has been exceptional.

Granted, the 49ers probably felt Lenoir needed a bit more field time as opposed to his cornerbacking counterpart, Ambry Thomas. But of the two, Lenoir has easily made the biggest impact.

Already with one interception over two preseason starts, Pro Football Focus’ Jeff Deeney pointed out another interesting tidbit about the former Oregon Duck’s ascent:

Impressive. And some of that included going up against the Chiefs’ first-team offense, albeit briefly, in Week 1 of the preseason.

Lenoir might not wind up starting right away, as the Niners already have established starters in place here. But seeing Lenoir’s feistiness and fearlessness thus far has been refreshing, and his presence has helped alleviate a lot of concerns about San Francisco’s cornerback depth chart being too thin entering 2021.