5 reasons to be nervous about the 49ers in 2023

If you're both a pessimist and a 49ers fan, this article is for you.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) / Michael Owens/GettyImages
3 of 5
San Francisco 49ers, Isaiah Oliver
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

No. 3: Cornerback may turn into a big problem for 49ers (again)

Remember back in 2021 when the Niners (unsuccessfully) tried to milk the last bit of playable effort from veteran cornerback Josh Norman?

That didn't work, and the corner spot ended up being San Francisco's primary liability for much of the year, prompting general manager John Lynch to spend big free-agent bucks on Charvarius Ward the following season.

Entering 2023, the 49ers attempted to solve some nickel woes by adding former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver on a two-year deal, $2.9 million of which is fully guaranteed.

Yet Oliver struggled mightily during the preseason, prompting defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to cover up the signing gaffe by saying the Niners were going to switch players around the secondary based on matchup.

"There's going to be certain matchups in the slot right there based off who that guy may be," Wilks said, via 49ers Webzone. "I'm not going to put Oliver in that situation. Demo may be that guy."

Matchups matter, but the ideal situation would be like what San Francisco had prior to 2022 when now-Denver Broncos cornerback K'Waun Williams was the automatic nickel regardless of matchups.

Oliver could be a massive liability on defense.