Nnamdi Watch Part II is finally over! And this time Nnamdi Asomugha made the smart decision, signing with a 49ers team that would never embrace the nickname of "dream team". With the signing of Asomugha, the 49ers depth at cornerback grows deeper. Nnamdi's contract is a one year deal however, and at thirty-two years old, he will not be part of the 49ers long term plans. The draft implications of the Nnamdi signing aren't huge, and the 49ers will still target the cornerbacks they like on their big board.
Besides Nnamdi, the 49ers have two cornerbacks who may not be with them after the 2013 season, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown. We have discussed Rogers as a cap casualty candidate, but his 2013 salary is now guaranteed, providing little value in releasing him. Of course, he remains a cut candidate in 2014 when his cap figure climbs to over $8 million. Tarell Brown is in the last year of his contract, and will be 29 when the playoffs get started. This could leave the 49ers possibly having to fill three spots at cornerback in 2014. Thus, it makes sense to still invest in a top tier cornerback this draft. I suspect the 49ers will select one in the first three rounds.
Trent Baalke is a man with a plan, and his plan always has the future in mind. The 49ers do have other needs to address aside from cornerback, but CB should remain high on the wish list. The NFC is filled with pass first teams such as the Packers and Falcons, as well as a Seahawks team that is quite balanced. You can never have enough good corners, and in the pass happy league the NFL is becoming, it has become more important to have at least three quality cornerbacks, and ideally four.
The biggest implication it could possibly have might be if the 49ers were planning on drafting a cornerback with one of their first two picks. A trade up to get Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes is much less likely now. I doubt the 49ers would trade away picks so they can move up to draft a player at a position that is relatively deep in talent. Also, at pick No. 31 and Pick No. 34, I do not see a cornerback worthy of drafting. I expect the 49ers to go defensive line and safety with these picks, or possibly tight end. A trade up of pick No. 61 or a package of a third round pick and other draft picks to move up in the second isn't out of the question. The middle of the second round will be interesting at the cornerback position. A lot of corners could be selected in round two, but some could fall as well.
The 49ers are going to meet with former Heisman candidate Tyrann Mathieu, who I feel the 49ers will legitimately consider drafting. I can envision the 49ers taking a player of Mathieu's caliber and draft grade. He strikes me as a high upside corner available late second or early third round). The "Honey Badger" would cost the 49ers pick No. 61 or pick No. 73. There is no way Mathieu gets out of the third round, and he could even be selected in the second. The Patriots are also going to meet with Mathieu. A Patriots decision to draft Mathieu in the second round strikes me as a total Belichick move.
In the coming days, I will have my top ten list of cornerbacks for you, and my thoughts on some of the other options the Niners could target at the position.
Do you think the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha will have any draft implications? Or will the 49ers have the same mindset going into the draft as they did prior to the signing?