That led several to question whether the team needs to bring in reinforcements, especially with the trade deadline inching closer and closer.
The 49ers have been buyers for a few seasons, although the magnitude of which they've acquired talent has varied year-to-year.
Where could they acquire talent to improve their roster in 2023?
Detailing the latest rumblings ahead of the trade deadline, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano dubbed the 49ers as a team that could have “sneaky intrigue around the deadline,” pointing primarily to the slot corner position as an area of concern.
“[In addition to the Saints], also watch for San Francisco [as a “sneaky” team], which needs slot corner help,” Fowler wrote on Wednesday.
“San Francisco was going to be my answer here [in regards to the team with sneaky trade deadline intrigue],” Graziano followed. “We’re a year removed from them swinging that massive deal for Christian McCaffrey, and the Niners are a team that I think perceives itself as in a somewhat narrow win-now window.”
“No one in the league is getting more production for less money at quarterback, and they will confront some big-money roster decisions next offseason. We just saw the Eagles make a rich-get-richer move in their secondary. When the team that kept you out of the Super Bowl last year is making moves, you have to be thinking about what you can do to counter.”
Cornerback has been a potential area of concern since the beginning of the season, when the 49ers flip-flopped Ambry Thomas and Isaiah Oliver in with the starters before the former suffered an ankle injury.
However, those issues were highlighted against the Vikings, as quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to handle the 49ers' pressure and consistently deliver accurate passes to receivers.
If the third cornerback is the biggest worry defensively, teams are usually in good shape, but the 49ers have a chance to upgrade at the deadline, and could take advantage to go “all-in” if the opportunity presents itself.