If I asked your which rookie is most likely to take a veteran’s job this season, you’d likely say Trey Lance will eventually supplant Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting quarterback. While that may be true, Lance isn’t the only rookie that could crack the starting lineup this year. On today’s Niner Nate-tion Podcast, special guest Eric Crocker says Emmanuel Moseley better start looking over his shoulder.
“Ideally they want Ambry Thomas to compete for an outside starting job. I look at Emmanuel Moseley and I don’t think his job is locked up at all. We’re talking about a guy who was really up and down last year. There were multiple games where he gave up a ton of catches...When he was back from the concussion...they were using him on special teams. They just chose not to play him. I can see Ambry Thomas competing for a starting job.”
Crocker also pointed out that Moseley’s salary this year doesn’t exactly scream starting cornerback. His cap number is only about $2.6 million this season. If Ambry Thomas did come in and blow everyone away, it isn’t exactly crippling to pay a backup defensive back that kind of money to sit on the bench (especially when they could potentially have a $26 million backup quarterback).
Crock likes what he sees of Thomas on film. He looks comfortable at the line of scrimmage, he has “patient feet,” and he’s somebody that makes receivers have to work to beat him. If the 49ers went into the season with Verrett and Thomas as their corners, with K’Waun Williams and Emmanuel Moseley behind them, it would mean the secondary is a lot stronger than we thought it might be just a few months ago.
If Thomas were to win a starting job, the 49ers must be extremely confident in his abilities given the incredible wide receivers on the team’s schedule this year. Just in the NFC West alone, there’s DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, and Cooper Kupp, to name a few. Not to mention Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Allen Robinson, AJ Brown, and more outside the division.
To hear a more in-depth breakdown of Ambry Thomas, Deommodore Lenoir (Dee-AH-mo-door luh-NOOR), and Talanoa Hufanga (tal-uh-NOE-uh who-FAWN-guh) from Eric Crocker, check out today’s Niner Nate-tion Podcast!
Other topics in today’s episode
- Is it possible for a quarterback to improve his accuracy?
- How Deommodore Lenoir looked improved in his first rookie minicamp
- Why there might not be a spot for Talanoa Hufanga