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49ers have a lot to worry about when it comes to the cornerback position in 2015

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We're talking a lot about who will end up starting, but the 49ers also need to consider depth after signing three guys off the street last season.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Thus far this offseason, we've talked about Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver, taking a look at whether or not the San Francisco 49ers will be able to retain their services heading into next season. Both are looking at a pay raise this offseason, and the 49ers aren't exactly flush with cash at the moment. We've thrown around starting combinations, invariably including Tramaine Brock, Dontae Johnson and Jimmie Ward in some form.

But what we haven't discussed at length is depth, and just how important that depth should be considered. I've said it before, but if the 49ers' offense was even just below average last season, then we wouldn't be talking about the struggles on that side of the ball at all. Instead, they were awful and that's all we talk about.

The story of the season, though, should have been something along the lines of "49ers overcome overwhelming injuries to field dominant, consistent defense." What they were able to accomplish at multiple positions in the face of all of those injuries cannot be overstated. But if inside linebacker was most-significantly affected due to the caliber of players hurt -- Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman -- then cornerback was certainly the one that was affected by sheer numbers.

Brock, Culliver and Ward were your starters. Then Brock played in just three games, Cox suffered a shoulder injury, Culliver missed multiple games, Ward had a foot injury and Chris Cook went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Johnson was the only guy who didn't get hurt, and the 49ers had to bring in guys like Marcus Cromartie, Leon McFadden and Cameron Fuller. It was madness.

Over at CSN Bay Area, Matt Maiocco posted an article with some quotes from 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, and though the quotes themselves are from during the season, I think they're worth highlighting. Baalke said that the depth required in the NFL has increased due to "the increased use of the nickel and dime packages," and that this has "put more of a premium on depth at the position."

Cox, Culliver and Cook are all free agents this offseason, and we continue to talk about which guy or guys the 49ers can bring back to potentially start, but the 49ers really need to ensure that, late in the season, they're not signing three guys off the street. I think it's safe to say the 49ers will keep more cornerbacks on the roster than usual next season. I just don't know who those cornerbacks will be.