No. 3: 49ers Cornerback Dontae Johnson
It’s not entirely fair to thrust veteran cornerback Dontae Johnson into this mix, especially because his role wasn’t anticipated to be a regular member within the 49ers secondary, as indicated by his seemingly weekly routine of being released, signing on the practice squad and then being promoted to the active roster.
Yet it’s important to recognize the Niners brought back Johnson to be just that, a decent fill-in option capable of going at a moment’s notice, which was essentially his role last season and many beforehand.
True, San Francisco’s cornerback attrition has forced the team’s hand at grabbing additional free agents, such as Josh Norman, Dre Kirkpatrick and, most recently, Buster Skrine. Yet that’s not exactly a vote of confidence for Johnson, who has already surrendered four catches for 42 yards and is well on pace to surpass the 200 yards allowed last season, the latter coming on 19 receptions allowed in 14 games played.
If there’s one takeaway here, it’s Johnson is falling short of being less than what he was asked to be this year: a fill-in option who could at least spell a need for a brief period of time.