5 underrated moves 49ers made during 2023 offseason

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Isaiah Oliver, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1: 49ers sign CB Isaiah Oliver to 2-year deal

The purists may disagree, but nickel cornerbacks are starters in today's pass-happy NFL.

And the 49ers didn't had a true one after K'Waun Williams left via free agency prior to the 2022 season. Tack on the 2023 free-agent departure of versatile defensive back Jimmie Ward, and this glaring hole within the secondary was only getting bigger.

That was until the Niners inked former Atlanta Falcons nickel back Isaiah Oliver to a two-year, $6.75 million deal.

Oliver, 26 years old, allowed a career-best 76.2 passer rating a season ago while notching seven passes defended and one interception. Plus, at 6-foot-0 and 210 pounds, Oliver can actually match up against big-slot receivers, which was one of the few weaknesses the 5-foot-9 Williams had during his San Francisco tenure.

Granted, Oliver has dealt with some injuries over his career, and that's a concern.

But, when healthy, he is one of the more consistent and reliable nickel coverage backs in the league today.

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