In the wake of No. 1 cornerback Jason Verrett’s season-ending ACL tear sustained against Detroit, and the already hobbled co-starter Emmanuel Moseley, who has a knee injury, the San Francisco 49ers (1-0) signed veteran corner Dre Kirkpatrick on Monday.
Kirkpatrick, the No. 17 pick out of Alabama in 2012, spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals after playing the first eight seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. He has been a popular workout invitee, trying out for multiple teams this season, including the 49ers back in July.
Experience and size are Kirkpatrick’s most desirable traits, both of which the 49ers could use.
In 113 career games, the 6’2, 190-pound Kirkpatrick has 13 interceptions, two touchdowns, 72 pass deflections, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, 3.0 sacks, and 358 tackles.
According to Pro Football Reference, Kirkpatrick allowed 62 receptions on 94 attempts (66 percent) for 660 yards in 2020.
Kirkpatrick’s PFF grade (49.0) was one of the worst in the NFL last season, which leads one to believe that he is not a plug-and-play starter. Rather, Kirkpatrick is likely competition/depth for Moseley, veterans Dontae Johnson and Josh Norman, as well as rookies Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas. As of now, Kirkpatrick probably sits at the bottom of the depth chart.
With the continued uncertainties at cornerback, the 49ers are likely not done making moves. Expect plenty of mixing and matching over the coming weeks to find which two give them the best chance to win.
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