49ers Cornerbacks (6)
CB Charvarius Ward
CB Emmanuel Moseley
CB Ambry Thomas
SCB Samuel Womack
CB Deommodore Lenoir
CB Tariq Castro-Fields
If you had cornerback as possibly the second deepest unit on the 49ers heading into the 2022 offseason, then count yourself among the few who probably had it right on that front.
While it took them a while to address the need last year in the draft, they did end up with two solid players in the form of Ambry Thomas out of Michigan and Deommodore Lenoir from Oregon, both of whom were contributors in 2021, albeit at different times during the season.
The Niners did a good job navigating the free agency pool and filled one of their biggest needs by adding one of the better players at his position in Charvarius Ward. The former Kansas City Chief was among the youngest free-agent corners available (he’ll turn 26 years old on May 16) and one who has one of the NFL’s most effective in 2021, according to NextGenStats:
Emmanuel Moseley, yet another hit of an undrafted free agent by this franchise in recent years, continues to improve and stands to be the starter opposite Jimmie Ward, with Thomas possibly being in the mix as either a third outside guy or as someone who can come in on nickel packages while Moseley slides into the slot.
Lenoir started his rookie year well before fading away later in the campaign, but he should be in the mix for a depth guy, as in spite of his stature, he’s shown himself to be a better outside option for the team than in the slot.
Speaking of the slot-corner role left vacated by now-Denver Bronco K’Waun Williams, the 49ers might have directly addressed it with the selection of Toledo’s Samuel Womack, who matches up well in terms of size, speed, and athleticism to Williams.
While Womack may not be rushed into starting right away as a fifth-round draft pick, the role appears to be his for the taking
As for the other 49ers’ draft pick at the position, Tariq Castro-Fields will need to prove his worth on special teams and show enough upside to unseat veterans like Dontae Johnson and Darqueze Dennard as the final guy in the room.
But first the elephant in that particular room: the return of Jason Verrett, who re-signed with the Niners on a one-year deal for the fourth straight season.
Verrett had a special 2020 campaign but tore his ACL in Week 1 of 2021, another in a long line of devastating injuries the former TCU star has sustained during his turbulent NFL career.
There’s no doubt Verrett is capable of being a starter in the NFL when he’s healthy, but the issue is that he very often has not been, having played in just 15 games in three years for San Francisco.
So for now, he’s on the outside looking in, with favor going toward younger and healthier options.