No. 3: 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir
Originally a position of weakness this offseason, even after San Francisco signed former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward as a free agent, the cornerback crop is now overflowing with bodies in contention to land one of arguably five spots on the 53-man roster.
Ward is safe. So is fellow corner Emmanuel Moseley, while 2021 rookie Ambry Thomas likely showed enough down the stretch and into the playoffs to hang around despite early struggles last year.
There’s an awfully good chance recently re-signed veteran corner, Jason Verrett, winds up sticking around now, too, after projecting to be fully recovered from the torn ACL suffered in Week 1 a year ago.
But after adding Toledo cornerback Samuel Womack in Round 5, then grabbing Texas A&M defensive back Tariq Castro-Fields in Round 6, there’ll be a lot stiffer competition for reserves like Dontae Johnson, Darqueze Dennard, Ka’dar Hollman and second-year man Deommodore Lenoir.
Lenoir lacks the quick-twitch reaction and skills to play nickel corner, a roster need in the wake of K’Waun Williams leaving for the Denver Broncos. And the boundary spots are awfully crowded now, too, in the wake of Ward onboarding, Verrett coming back and now Castro-Fields in the mix.
Perhaps the 49ers revert the apparent “giving up” feeling they had on Lenoir after the first few weeks of 2021, but the signs aren’t looking promising.