We’ve seen Mock Drafts give the San Francisco 49ers a cornerback on a few occasions, but never a player from the Big 12. The reason you’re seeing cornerback is that the Niners have Richard Sherman under contract for one more season, and two up and coming players in Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley. Both of them showed promise in 2019 but also had plays that may make you hesitant in moving forward with them as a starter. Teams are always looking to upgrade and continue to raise the bar for themselves. If you can find a player better than those two that fit what the 49ers want to do on defense, you do it.
In CBS’s latest Mock Draft, they didn’t have the Niners trading out of the first round, but they did have the team selecting cornerback Jeff Gladney from TCU, who may be available in a trade back scenario:
Jeff Gladney CB
TCU • SR • 5’10” / 191 LBS
PROJECTED TEAM San Francisco PROSPECT RNK 37th POSITION RNK 7th
Gladney had a standout season for the Horned Frogs, and he might be one of the best cover corners in this draft class. He measured just 5-foot-10, but he’s incredibly physical and will have little trouble matching up with NFL receivers.
At 5-foot-10, 191 pounds, Gladney ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, with a 37’5” vertical. Many thought he would be more explosive than that, given how quick Gladney plays. Gladney has tremendous feet for a cornerback. He’s so sudden that you’ll see him beat wide receivers to the spot they’re trying to get too, which leads to Gladney being in phase and putting himself in a position to make a play on the ball.
The issues I had with Gladney were his strength and long speed. You’d see him be in a position, but not come up with a play on the ball. Other times you’ll see him get beat deep, and not close the gap between him and the receiver. While 4.48 is plenty fast, those were the observations I had. Gladney is a good, not great player like has value in the second round. The end of the first may be a touch rich, but cornerback is a premium position I understand getting “your guy,” if this is the case.
In this scenario, I’d be more comfortable rolling with Moseley moving forward. Gladney, when asked to turn and run, struggled mightily finding the ball when it’s in the air. If you can’t find the ball down the field, you’re going to get picked on. He already has issues with overaggression and getting beat on double moves, so Gladney’s inability to play the ball in the air is concerning. That was not an issue for Moseley. From a value standpoint, Moseley>Gladney.