The San Francisco 49ers invested a lot of draft capital in overhauling their defense, and we’ve had plenty of discussion about the big names in the first few rounds. However, the team added some intriguing in the later rounds, including defensive back Adrian Colbert.
Colbert ran a 4.49 40 at his Pro Day, and has solid size at 6’0, 200 pounds. He played at the University of Miami this past year after spending his first four college seasons at Texas. He was able to transfer and play right away using the graduate exception. He made the move after one of his college coaches made the move over.
Colbert has experience at both cornerback and safety, and general manager John Lynch mentioned they would try to get him some work at both positions. Colbert recently sat down with Peter Ariz of the Canes Insight podcast. During the podcast, Colbert said he had only been playing cornerback thus far. He has said he will play anywhere they need him, but for now, it’s cornerback.
The podcast was a mix of Miami and NFL discussion. It turns out he was coached this past year by Mike Rumph. The former 49ers first round pick joined the Hurricanes coaching staff last year as cornerbacks coach. He was previously head coach at American Heritage High School. Rumph did not have a great NFL career, but came out of college as the kind of physical corner Colbert is looking to be. Rumph is finding some success as a coach, so it will be interesting to see how much he was able to help Colbert.
Colbert was asked about making adjustments to the NFL, and he had the kind of response a lot of rookies have. He talked about being able to use his speed to get an advantage in college, but in the NFL, everybody’s fast. It forces most fast college players to work on their technique a bit more, and potentially become more well-rounded in their play.
The 49ers have a lot of players competing for work in the secondary, but there is plenty of room for young players to earn a spot. For Colbert, his best shot is likely emerging as a consistent special teams presence. He could surprise and snag a role in the secondary as a rookie, but late day three picks absolutely must step up on special teams.
Here is a transcript of the NFL portion of his conversation. You can listen to the whole podcast here.
On Bay Area vs. Miami:
I live in Santa Clara, at the team hotel. There’s a movie theater right around the corner, and if you follow me a lot, that’s my favorite thing. I like going to the movies, I like seeing the newest movie, and telling people about it. I go to the movies a lot. I also like to go bowling a lot.
It’s pretty chill. We live in the middle of Silicon Valley, so there’s not much going on around us, which makes it really easy for us to focus on our jobs, and not get distracted. Which, in my opinion, is great, and will be great for the team.
On biggest adjustment to NFL thus far:
For me, personally, I used to try and allow my speed to help give me an advantage, but in the NFL, everybody’s fast. So you can’t just do that, you have to be more technical in the NFL. And that’s just something I really had to work on throughout my whole time being [at the offseason workout program].
On playing corner and John Lynch saying he might play safety:
Yea, I think that’s one thing they like about me, but it hasn’t been brought up. I think they like the feel for corner that I have, and the things that I’ve shown, so they’re going to keep me playing at corner as far as I know.
On if he felt more prepared for NFL coming from Miami:
For me, I feel like the coaching staff, just having a new coaching staff, and just being around another group of people really helped me prepare for it. Because, transitioning to the NFL, you’re going to get a new defensive scheme or offensive scheme, or whatever position you play, and you’re gonna be around new players. So I had to go through that coming into Miami. I really felt like that helped me transition really, really fast into the NFL and the NFL locker room.
The scheme that we played in Miami is very similar to the scheme we play in San Fran. It just fit me perfectly
On learning from Mike Rumph at Miami as a bigger corner:
That helped me tons. Especially since he played up there in San Fran. I know it was a while back, but he just gave me the necessary tools that I needed just to grow as a corner, and even get an opportunity to make it where I am. Coming in I didn’t know much about corner, until I sat down with him and watched tape with him. We just talked about it and practiced it.