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49ers will face top CB they let get away, A.J. Bouye

Bouye is one of the elite corners in the NFL, something the 49ers sorely need.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers moved on from Tramaine Brock and Rashard Robinson, and it seems like they’ll probably want to move on from Dontae Johnson as soon as that is actually possible. The cornerback position is a huge concern, with only Ahkello Witherspoon, a rookie, and K’Waun Williams, a nickel, looking like keepers to me.

But it’s a position that was pretty close to being drastically improved. This past offseason, the 49ers targeted free agent A.J. Bouye, a young player with tremendous upside. The 49ers were linked to Bouye in free agency, and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh even wrote up a report on him.

“We studied it in free agency. I write up my report and give it to those guys. You’d like to have every single one of them. Kyle and [general manager] John [Lynch] and [vice president of player personnel] Adam [Peters] and [senior personnel executive] Martin Mayhew, they have a tremendous plan. They ask for our opinion, we give them our opinion and they do a great job with that they’re seeing on tape. Whatever they saw in all that stuff, I’m 100-percent behind,” Saleh said.

Saleh was asked if he is surprised at the success Bouye is having this year, and he said no. It seems like there are fewer shutdown corners than ever before right now, but Bouye definitely fits the bill. He’s going to be extremely well-paid in the future.

Witherspoon is likely a starter going forward, but beyond him, the 49ers have few answers. They will likely need to spend high on the position in the upcoming NFL Draft, and even then they’ll probably need to add a veteran or two in free agency. Had they went and signed Bouye before the Jacksonville Jaguars could, this would be a very different conversation.

Now Bouye will be trying to make life extremely difficult for Jimmy Garoppolo when the two teams meet on Sunday.