49ers position battle to watch: Defensive backfield
Players in the fray: Deommodore Lenoir, Tashaun Gipson, Ambry Thomas, Samuel Womack, Isaiah Oliver, Myles Hartsfield, Ji’Ayir Brown, Darrell Luter Jr.
The Niners made two notable NFL Draft additions for their secondary, grabbing Ji’Ayir Brown after trading up for him in Round 3 and then nabbing small-school Darrell Luter in Round 5.
Both could potentially start in year one, too.
Brown is likely intended to be the long-term replacement for now-Houston Texans defensive back Jimmie Ward, whose versatility and ability to play any position within the secondary will be missed. While it’s not likely Brown will push out veteran safety Tashaun Gipson from a starting job, it is possible the rookie winds up assuming a starting nickel role right away.
That wouldn’t be good news for veteran defensive backs like Samuel Womack, Isaiah Oliver or even Deommodore Lenoir.
Luter, too, could threaten for a starting gig on the boundary that would push players like Lenoir or fellow corner Ambry Thomas further down the depth chart.
In Thomas’ case, perhaps even off the depth chart entirely.