2024 NFL Combine standouts the 49ers can't allow to become draft busts

Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins at the NFL Combine
Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins at the NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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No. 1: CB D.J. James, Auburn

The Niners are meeting with Auburn cornerback D.J. James at the NFL Combine, which again highlights their need for more reinforcements within the secondary and to pair with starting corners Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir.

James, 6-foot-0 and 175 pounds, looks the part of a solid zone-style outside cornerback who tallied five interceptions and 24 pass breakups between his years with the Tigers and Oregon Ducks. And he was also a top performer for his position at the combine with an excellent 4.42 40-yard time.

So, what's the issue?

As could be the case with Nate Wiggins, James lacks the desired size and doesn't have a lot of room to add more functional weight without sacrificing speed. While it's less risky to target someone like James in Rounds 3 or 4, some teams might be willing to bite as early as Round 2.

Factor in James potentially being a slot-only option at the next level, as well as his lack of size creating some bad habits in tackling, and there's a sizable risk he could end up being one of those who'll simply be unimpressive at the NFL level.

San Francisco should avoid that miss.

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