49ers have perfect opportunity to fix cornerback woes

K'Waun Williams #24 with Emmanuel Moseley #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
K'Waun Williams #24 with Emmanuel Moseley #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Cornerback is almost universally considered the biggest need for the 49ers, and it’s also the perfect time for the team to plug that hole headed into 2022.

The San Francisco 49ers aren’t too far off from a Super Bowl push once again and could even be right in the conversation as soon as next season if quarterback Trey Lance takes the sort of leap that we’ve seen from quarterbacks, like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, with raw and athletic ability.

The one major hole on the Niners, however, is cornerback, which most fans would agree is the one major hole on the roster. On the surface, the starting trio isn’t too bad with Emmanuel Moseley, Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams manning the slot, but there are some problems here.

The major one is Verrett, who’s an immensely talented shutdown corner when healthy. The key however is “when healthy,” which is something Verrett hasn’t been able to do throughout his career. He and Williams are also free agents this offseason, too, and if one or both leave San Francisco, then it creates an even bigger hole.

Moseley is a solid corner, and the team has a decent young prospect in Ambry Thomas who shined at times as a rookie last season late. But the 49ers still need at least one upgrade to serve as depth at the absolute least even if they retain everybody.

49ers won’t lack options for cornerback upgrades

Luckily for the Niners, they’ve lucked out with great free agency and draft classes when it comes to cornerbacks. San Francisco could go with the veteran or the rookie route and has plenty to choose from.

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If the 49ers decide to go all out with the money they get from trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo they could pursue corners like J.C. Jackson from the New England Patriots, Stephen Gilmore from the Carolina Panthers or D.J. Reed from the Seattle Seahawks (and former 49er).

If the Niners use their draft capital, notably from the would-be Garoppolo deal, to trade into the first round, they could grab top cornerback prospects like Derek Stingley, Ahmad Gardner or Trent McDuffie if they trade up high enough.

San Francisco’s biggest hole fortuitously just happens to be the biggest market item in the offseason.

It couldn’t have asked for a better time to find an upgrade.

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