Trent Baalke added Mississippi State cornerback Will Redmond with the San Francisco 49ers third round pick on Friday. He is another member of the all-ACL team, having injured his knee in October. However, unlike past such players, Redmond but is expected to be ready for training camp.
Why not draft a player who can come into the NFL healthy & ready to go? Trent Baalke: "He will be healthy. He will be ready to go." #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) April 30, 2016
Redmond’s injury cut his senior season short, but in limited snaps he showed promise. Mike Mayock mentioned on the broadcast that, had he been healthy, Redmond would have snuck back into the first round. Pro Football Focus ranked Redmond as their 14th corner, behind the likes of Cre’Von LeBlanc, Kevin Peterson, and Tavon Young. Below are Redmond’s numbers as compared to some of the top cornerbacks in this year’s class.
His target sample size is pretty limited, with less than half of the targets of Vernon Hargreaves. In limited action though, he allowed a reception at a rate slightly worse than Hargreaves, and seems to compare favorably overall. Redmond allowed a QB rating of just 41, tops for this group of corners. While he played 88% of his snaps outside, Trent Baalke projects Redmond as a nickel back. What this means for the construction of the defensive backfield, or Eric Reid's 5th year option, is unknown. And then, of course, there's film study which would augment the numbers we see here. But from a strict numbers standpoint, albeit with a limited sample size, the pick doesn't seem too far out of this world.