SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers were willing to take a chance on a cornerback they believe will boost their young secondary once he's healthy.
San Francisco selected Mississippi State cornerback Will Redmond with its third-round pick at 68th overall in the NFL draft Friday night.
Redmond tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during practice last October but 49ers general manager Trent Baalke was willing to take the chance on him.
''That's my biggest focus right now, get back healthy,'' Redmond said. ''Get back on the field. Get ready to play. Get ready to do my best for the 49ers.''
The injury kept Redmond available later in the draft than Baalke expected. He visited the 49ers leading up to the draft, and now Redmond is eager to get to work with the 49ers' training staff and his new teammates. He will let the medical staff guide him in the next steps of his recovery.
''We have him valued higher than where we took him. There's risk in all this, we know,'' Baalke said. ''The injury, it was a very standard procedure, all right? He's on schedule to slightly ahead of schedule. We had a lot of contact with this young man. We know who did the surgery. We also know where he's rehabbing and who's rehabbing him.''
Despite Redmond's injury, Baalke believes his latest addition will be healthy enough to compete for playing time in training camp come late July.
''Oh yes, I expect to play in 2016,'' Redmond said.
Redmond appeared in 27 games for the Bulldogs over three seasons, finishing with five interceptions, 99 tackles and 13 passes defensed.
The Niners didn't have a second-round pick after trading it to Kansas City, along with fourth- and sixth-round selections. They received the 28th overall pick from the Chiefs on Thursday and used it on Stanford guard Joshua Garnett after taking Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner with No. 7.
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