The San Francisco 49ers roster has a lot of question marks, and cornerback has been high on the list. The team has a lot of young talent, but it remains to be seen just how the whole group will shake out in 2016. The team drafted Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson, and Prince Charles Iworah this year, and drafted Jimmie Ward, Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser and Kenneth Acker in 2014. Add in Tramaine Brock, and that's a lot of young talent with some interesting upside.
Pro Football Focus is fairly optimistic about the group. They released a ranking of all 32 cornerback groups, and they listed the 49ers at No. 14. Here's what they had to say in discussing the 49ers:
Top CBs: Tramaine Brock, Dontae Johnson, Jimmie Ward
Key stat: Ward recorded 21 defensive stops in 2015, tied for 10th-most in the league.
The massive personnel turnover in San Francisco last offseason hit the defensive backfield, too, but their fresh crop of cornerbacks more than held their own as the rest of the team struggled around them. Tramaine Brock, Dontae Johnson, and Jimmie Ward all graded well, with Brock surrendering more than 75 yards only three times, while Ward added 21 stops from the slot.
Ward has been getting a ton of positive press the last two months during the offseason workout program. He is working almost exclusively on the outside, along with Brock. Dontae Johnson and Chris Davis have been getting nickel work. Johnson would seemingly be the favorite for sub-package work, but we'll find out more as we get into training camp.
Of course, if the secondary has success this year, part of the reason will likely be due to improved pass rush. Eli Harold and Tank Carradine are going to be critical components of that. Ahmad Brooks has been rehabbing an injury, and is starting to get back into drills during minicamp. In the meantime, Harold has been getting a lot of first team work alongside Aaron Lynch. Tank is continuing to develop as a sub-package option, and will likely get a lot of work throughout the preseason.