49ers roster: 5 players who will be given second chances in 2022

Trent Sherfield #81 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trent Sherfield #81 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Deommodore Lenoir, San Francisco 49ers
Deommodore Lenoir #38 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

49ers player No. 3: Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir

Notice a trend here?

Another player who impressed during offseason workouts a year ago, then-rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir looked like he’d be yet another one of those Niners late-round NFL Draft steals, showing some serious ballhawking skills both in training camp and into the preseason.

After two starts to begin the regular season, though, it was pretty clear Lenoir wasn’t quite up to the task of being a reliable defensive back in the starting lineup.

San Francisco subsequently relegated him to special teams and backup duties, eventually putting him on inactive lists late in the year.

Heading into 2022, though, the 49ers are set to lose a number of their bigger-profile defensive backs, namely Jason Verrett, Josh Norman, K’Waun Williams and Jaquiski Tartt, to free agency. While it’s possible the Niners re-sign some of those players, or even add another veteran on the free-agent market, one might expect Lenoir to push himself further up the depth chart.

True, San Francisco will want to see more out of its bigger draft investment from last season, fellow corner Ambry Thomas, who ended up starting late in the year.

But Lenoir shouldn’t be removed from consideration, and it’s likely the 49ers will want to try giving him a bigger role in 2022.