The San Francisco 49ers signed cornerback K’Waun Williams earlier this offseason to compete for the nickel back role in a new-look defense. It was the first signing of the John Lynch front office, and is an intriguing one given his play before an ankle injury led to a dispute with and his eventual release from the Cleveland Browns.
Williams is on a one-yea prove it deal, and he will face a challenge in second-year cornerback Will Redmond. The 49ers drafted Redmond with a third round pick, six months after the cornerback tore his ACL in practice. GM Trent Baalke said they expected Redmond to be ready for training camp, but it was not to be. Redmond played in the preseason, and earned a roster spot following final roster cuts, but three days later the team placed him on injured reserve.
Redmond did not make it back, but by all accounts he should be ready for the upcoming offseason workout program. Four weeks ago, Redmond posted this video to Instagram. The speed work he does to show off his footwork is pretty impressive. Well, really impressive compared to what I could do. I don’t even know if I could do that at a normal speed.
The competition for slot work will likely include Redmond, Williams, and Keith Reaser. Rashard Robinson emerged as the third cornerback last year, but we can’t really say who is favored for what role this year, considering the coaching staff changes. Add in the fact that this year is incredibly deep at the cornerback position and the 49ers may or may not move Jimmie Ward to free safety, and the depth chart is entirely up for grabs.