49ers NFL Draft 2022: 5 cornerbacks San Francisco must target

Trent McDuffie #22 of the Washington Huskies (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Trent McDuffie #22 of the Washington Huskies (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Trent McDuffie, Washington Huskies
Washington Huskies defensive back Trent McDuffie (22) Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

player. 818. . Cornerback. Huskies . Trent McDuffie. 1

49ers NFL Draft Target No. 1: Trent McDuffie, Washington

Yes, another Pac-12 prospect here. Notice a trend?

Washington’s Trent McDuffie might be a bit of a pipe dream for the 49ers in the 2022 NFL Draft, as many analysts are pegging him as a first-round player capable of sliding into the 20s. But, as anyone who has watched the draft for one-plus year or so can attest, there are plenty of Round 1-caliber players who slip into Round 2.

Sometimes further.

McDuffie likely isn’t to fall into the third round, though, but it wouldn’t be shocking at all to see the Niners use their first pick in the 2022 draft, a Round 2 selection, on a player of McDuffie’s ilk.

Related Story: The curious case of the 49ers’ 2021 cornerback situation

Sure, some might see McDuffie’s 5-foot-11 and 195-pound frame as a bit undersized for boundary duties. But McDuffie plays much larger than his stature would indicate, often using his tenacity to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage in order to prevent them from getting a clean release.

McDuffie has just two interceptions over his two-plus college years, but he uses his physicality and speed to blanket receiving targets, often locking down his side of the field and discouraging opposing quarterbacks from targeting him.

Yes, San Francisco could use that kind of a player to shut down a third of the field on defense, and McDuffie seemingly fits the bill.

Perhaps he slips on draft day, which would be great news for the 49ers.

Next. 4 needs 49ers must address in 2022 NFL Draft. dark