2023 NFL Draft: Who could 49ers target on defense, special teams?

Trey Dean III #0 of the Florida Gators (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Trey Dean III #0 of the Florida Gators (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Jakorian Bennett, Maryland
Defensive back Ja’Korian Bennett of Maryland (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

824. . Cornerback . Terrapins . Jakorian Bennett. 4. player

49ers target: Jakorian Bennett, Cornerback, Maryland

The cornerback position is one that will probably be a top priority for San Francisco given the departures at the position. Depth is needed, and Jakorian Bennett is an excellent prospect who’s extremely versatile and talented enough to develop into a potential starter at the NFL level.

I’ve mocked Bennett to the 49ers in my 2.0 mock draft and it’s easy to see why. Bennett is an extremely versatile prospect that can play outside, as the nickel or even as a safety. The Niners greatly prize versatility in their players, and Bennett can solve quite a few depth problems that they have.

Bennett’s exceptional NFL Combine showed he has the physical tools to stick in the NFL, and it also shows on tape with five interceptions and 22 passes defended in the past two seasons for Maryland.

While 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds isn’t the prototypical size for a cornerback on the outside, Bennett makes up for it with excellent instincts and smarts. He can diagnose plays and routes excellently and plays bigger than his size with the ability to make plays.

Bennett does sometimes get a bit grabby, which will draw flags at the NFL level instantly, and he doesn’t have lightning-quick speed like other corners. But he looks like a good fit for the NFL scheme as someone who can start as the nickel down the road with the ability to fill in elsewhere if needed.