One of the positions the San Francisco 49ers will have to address next year is cornerback. With All-Pro Richard Sherman slated to become a free agent in 2021, the Niners may have to look to add to their secondary via the draft or free agency.
Last season, Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley played a majority of the snaps on the outside, with K’Waun Williams as the nickel corner, who played extremely well in his role.
PFF’s Ben Linsey went through the league and came up with his list of most the most underrated player on every team.
For the 49ers, he went went with Williams:
“Even as an undrafted rookie out of Pittsburgh, Williams showed early on that there was a place for him in the NFL in the slot. His 90.3 coverage grade during his 2014 rookie season on 350 defensive snaps speaks for itself. In his four seasons of action with both the Cleveland Browns and 49ers, Williams has remained a quality option inside. The only two qualifying cornerbacks with a better overall grade in the slot than Williams since 2014 are Chris Harris Jr. and Desmond King II. His play was an underrated component of San Francisco’s success on defense in 2019, and he’ll likely be a big reason for the team’s continued success next season.”
The 28-year-old Williams has the ability to read and react to plays at a high level. He had 51 total tackles during the 2020 season with 2 interceptions. Williams played 74.3% of the 49ers defensive snaps in the playoffs and recorded 15 tackles. With a 2020 cap hit of $3.2 million in 2020, he should be in line for a pay bump if his performance carries over to 2021.
Some of the 49ers I think are underrated are: Jimmie Ward, Jarquiski Tartt and Kyle Juszczyk.
Do you agree with Linsey that Williams is the most underrated 49er? Or is there another member of the squad that you feel doesn’t get the credit he deserves?
On to some more links:
San Francisco is returning most of its starters from last season. But where do they lack depth? The SF Chronicle’s Eric Branch examines the four positions that could be problematic if the team faces a rash of injuries.
The Niners were very good on both sides of the ball last season. NBC Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson points out one stat that shows just how balanced San Francisco was last season.
We have seen a lot of 49ers defend quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after the Super Bowl loss. The latest is Mike McGlinchey, who stuck up for his QB and spoke about the depth of the team going into 2020. (h/t David Bonilla of 49ers Web Zone)
We were mostly happy with what general manager John Lynch at the 2020 NFL Draft. Sports Illustrated’s draft scout, Rob Rang, did a deep drive on the 49ers’ picks, and gave them a pretty good grade.
The Niners will have a hard time replacing the production of DeForest Buckner. The defensive lineman talked about being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, and what his role will be with his new team. (Colts.com)
Running back Raheem Mostert is a big part of the 49ers’ plans for 2020. Matt Maiocco of NBC Bay Area caught up with Mostert, who says he is excited to run behind newly acquired left tackle Trent Williams.