49ers roster: 4 players who need more snaps in second half of 2021
No. 3: Cornerback Ambry Thomas
Cornerback was a huge position of need for the 49ers going into the 2021 NFL Draft. They were in an excellent position to take Asante Samuel Jr. in the second round at pick No. 43 but instead opted to trade down for more draft capital.
Samuel Jr. then got selected at No. 47 right before the 49ers were about to pick at No. 48. They would go ahead and select guard Aaron Banks out of Notre Dame with that pick.
The Niners finally selected a cornerback in the third round. They took Ambry Thomas from Michigan in the third round (102nd overall).
Halfway through the season, though, Thomas has only played a total of nine snaps in the four games he’s appeared in thus far. This seems odd as he was the first defensive back taken by San Francisco in the draft.
General manager John Lynch explained to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that Thomas was just not ready at the start of the season. This is due to the fact that he opted out of the 2020 college football season due to concerns over COVID-19.
While Thomas might not be ready for a starting role, the 49ers should definitely give him more defensive snaps over the next few games.
For reference, those nine snaps were all in the first game of the season against the Detroit Lions. His other in-game appearances have all been on special teams. The Niners need to get him more experience if he is going to be a long-term option at cornerback.
So, while he may not be ready to be a starting cornerback, he should be slowly worked in with more reps in the upcoming games.