Most intriguing position battles for San Francisco 49ers in 2024

San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Deebo Samuel (L) and Brandon Aiyuk (R)
San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Deebo Samuel (L) and Brandon Aiyuk (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
2 of 5

No. 2: Cornerback

Players to watch: Renardo Green, Isaac Yiadom, Rock Ya-Sin, Ambry Thomas

Not unlike the situation at wide receiver, cornerback depth is going to be provocative over the course of the summer.

The Niners already have two of their top-three spots filled out with Deommodore Lenoir likely manning the nickel spot and All-Pro Charvarius Ward on one boundary. But the other boundary job is fully up for grabs.

This helps explain why San Francisco added two free-agent veterans during the offseason, Isaac Yiadom and Rock Ya-Sin, who can potentially emerge as starters there. But, after grabbing former Florida State cornerback Renardo Green in Round 2 of the draft, it's clear the long-term plan is for the latter to force his way into a prominent role.

Young defensive backs do tend to take a while to adjust to life at the pros, though, meaning Green might best start his NFL career as a primary backup, especially for a team like the 49ers ready to win a Super Bowl now.

That said, could Green challenge for a starting job? And, if the other veterans remain impressive enough, would it finally mean the Niners are willing to move on from the inconsistent presence of Ambry Thomas a year before his current contract expires?