49ers mock NFL Draft: 5 first-round targets for San Francisco

Drake London (15) of the USC Trojans (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Drake London (15) of the USC Trojans (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Trent McDuffie, Washington Huskies
Washington Huskies defensive back Trent McDuffie (22) Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

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

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

If we’re being truly honest here, the No. 1 position the Niners should focus on in the 2022 draft is cornerback.

Unless they’re content trying out retread veterans like Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick, the results of which in 2021 haven’t exactly worked out well. And neither did the hope cornerback Jason Verrett would stay healthy after doing so the previous year.

Of the two corners San Francisco drafted this season, Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, only the latter has shown any sign of making an impact, and even he has been limited in field time, suggesting the 49ers may need to go back to the proverbial drawing board at this position of need.

Read More: 4 needs 49ers must address in 2022 NFL Draft

Atop that drawing “big board,” the Niners would be wise to place Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie, who is probably going to be in that safe aggressive trade-up range at the highest and could potentially slip into the early stages of Round 2.

If he falls, it’s likely due to his smallish 5-foot-11 and 195-pound frame, which could deter some teams that want bigger-bodied options instead. But San Francisco has moved towards employing smaller boundary cornerbacks, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

And it certainly hasn’t stopped McDuffie this season, as he has three pass breakups over six games in a pass-happy Pac-12 conference.

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