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49ers CB Ahkello Witherspoon poised to have a bounce back year

Witherspoon has the skill set that you don’t give up on

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

To play corner consistently at a high level is rare. That’s what makes Richard Sherman Richard Sherman. Only the best of the best are able to pull off this feat. Ahkello Witherspoon showed plenty of promise as a rookie. That’s usually all you’re looking for. Guys that can be competent and you build on that play. Unfortunately, Witherspoon had a sophomore slump. At least during the beginning of the year. The second-year corner started to come on strong towards the end of the year, but a sprained knee ended a promising second half of the year.

By the numbers

During his final five games, Witherspoon had some impressive numbers. Against some pretty good competition, too. Witherspoon gave up eight catches on 23 targets. Per PFF, from weeks 10-17(obviously he missed the last two), Witherspoon had the fifth lowest passer rating when targeted, at 48.6. He seemed to be taking the next step and getting back on track.

By his play

Witherspoon was the benefit on some of those throws. For example the first throw to Odell Beckham Jr. was a drop. To me, he looked fine against everyone not named OBJ. Which, duh. There are some technical parts to Witherspoon’s game that he has to improve. There’s also plenty to like about him, and not just his obvious physical traits.

Eric Crocker, die hard Niner fan, has been talking a long look at Witherspoon as of late. Check this thread out:

Crock has broken down quite a few of his games. Even if you don’t agree with his takes, it’s a good way to get visuals on what Witherspoon looks like.

Witherspoon will have to fully recover from his ankle injury, which 10 days after he was walking without crutches. He’ll have to compete against Jason Verrett, Tarvarius Moore, and whoever else the team decides to bring in. If Witherspoon picks up where he left off, he should find himself on the field often in 2019.