The San Francisco 49ers are into their second day of voluntary minicamp, and we are starting to get some insight into what the team has planned on defense. Jimmie Ward met with the media on Wednesday, and he said he has been playing the free safety role. He is not sure what the plan is for after the draft. Eric Reid said he has been practicing the in-the-box role, similar to Kam Chancellor in Seattle.
Chris Biderman reported that K’Waun Williams, Will Redmond, Keith Reaser, and JaCorey Shepherd are all getting work in the slot corner role, as expected. He guessed Dontae Johnson and Keith Reaser are getting outside work opposite Rashard Robinson.
The team is back on the field for drills for the first time since their final game. They’ve spent the past two weeks doing strength and conditioning work, and classroom work from a football perspective. They’ll have three days of practice under their belt when the first round of the 2017 NFL draft gets going.
The upside to that is they’ll have at least some semblance of information about Ward as a safety. The downside is it really won’t be much information at all. If the 49ers are trying to decide on safety, cornerback, or some other position with the No. 2 overall pick, they’ll be mixing in some projection in making their decision. Ward has college film as a safety, so that helps. But other than that, it’s limited.
If the 49ers decide Ward is their guy at free safety, maybe they draft Marshon Lattimore or one of the other cornerbacks. If they are not sold enough, maybe they draft Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker. Or, maybe they just go best player available, regardless of position. It’s really tough to tell at this point.