The San Francisco 49ers made a pair of additions to the cornerback depth on Saturday, signing Shareece Wright and Chris Cook to one year deals. Wright spent the last four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, while Cook was on the 49ers roster for a year. Cook got off to a solid start, but got hurt and spent most of the season on injured reserve.
James Brady took a look at the cornerback position and given the losses, figured the group took a step back in overall talent. Losing Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox does remove quality players who were known talents (to some extent). In their place, the 49ers will have a mix of players they know a lot less about. Well, it might be better to say, we as fans know less about a lot of these players.
At face value, it is easy to consider it a decrease in talent, but the 49ers front office and coaching staff could be plenty pleased with this group. If they draft a cornerback in the first round this year, that obviously will give us a better idea of the situation, but until then, this is what we've got.
The cornerbacks currently consist
Jimmie Ward (CB/S)
Right now, one could imagine Brock, Johnson and Ward as the starting three in the nickel. However, considering the team gave Wright $3 million with another $1 million in incentives, they clearly like something specific about him. Where do you think he fits on the depth chart right now?
There are the two medical redshirt rookies in Reaser and Acker, but two particularly intriguing options are Cromartie and McFadden. Both were intriguing prospects coming out of college, but they have not really panned out in the NFL. With this young group, they will likely get some serious opportunities.
And of course, the question also is where a draft pick fits in. I still don't think the 49ers will draft a cornerback in the first round next month. But at this point, how the depth chart shakes out is a little difficult to figure out. Will we see Brock and Johnson manning the outside, or do you see it shaking out different when the preseason gets here? I do think the 49ers add a cornerback or two in the draft, but I think it ends up on day two or three, with maybe a UDFA mixed in.
I don't think a drafted cornerback immediately climbs into the starting lineup, so I am inclined to see Brock, Johnson and Ward in the starting lineup. That leaves a huge group for that dime position, although several of them could end up in the mix for either starting position. It's a tough call with a lot of guys we just don't know enough about quite yet.