The San Francisco 49ers drafted Southern Mississippi safety Tarvarius Moore with the intention of moving him over to cornerback. The third round pick spent his career as a safety, but his 6’2, 193 pound frame has resulted in the kind of length that can do big things in the 49ers press coverage.
The 49ers have Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon likely to slot into the two outside cornerback jobs, with Jimmie Ward competing for an opportunity there as well. Moore has spent his time at safety, so there will be a bit of a learning curve, but with just enough questions at the position, an early impact is possible. And someone thinks that could happen.
Recently, NFL.com draft analyst Chase Goodbread put together a ranking of the top 100 NFL rookies based on who will make the biggest impact in 2018. It is not surprising that Mike McGlinchey is the 49ers highest ranking player, ranked No. 16 overall. He will slot in at right tackle from day one following the Trent Brown trade.
What is interesting about Goodbread’s list is that he ranks Moore No. 2 among the 49ers (No. 58 overall), followed by wide receiver Dante Pettis (No. 88) and linebacker Fred Warner (No. 99). Pettis and Warner’s roles are still to be determined, but both play positions where there could be some early wiggle room. Pettis will likely get a shot as a returner, and we’ll see plenty of wide receiver rotation. Warner will likely get sub-package work, and could end up with more of an opportunity depending on Reuben Foster’s status.
Moore seems to have a tough road ahead of him to claim a starting cornerback job, but given the extensive use of three- and four-wide receiver sets across the league, that third and fourth cornerback can be key. Transitioning positions is never easy, but if Moore can pick up the technique nuances at cornerback, he could carve out a role for himself in year one.