Three Cornerback Prospects 49ers Could Target With Pick No.31
After a successful 2019 season, the San Francisco 49ers now shift their focus to the offseason and with that comes the NFL Scouting Combine, which kicks off in just under two weeks. The combine consists of 377 prospects who will participate in the evaluation showcase from February 24-March 1.
The combine allows scouts to get an up-close evaluation on numerous prospects, while also getting to know more about each player from a physical and mental standpoint before the NFL Draft takes shape in late April.
Building a team through the draft is vital for any organization, and that exact stepping stone was one that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan hit on last offseason. Guys such as Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, and Dre Greenlaw all played prominent roles in year one, helping San Francisco punch their ticket to Super Bowl LIV.
While last year's draft class contributed in big ways, that’s not always the case from year-to-year. One area that the 49ers must look to enhance their abilities this offseason, is the cornerback position.
With just minimal resources to their disposal in free agency, having just $14.7 million in cap space this offseason, according to Spotrac.com, seeking a talented cornerback in round one of the draft makes a lot of sense for their roster's makeup.
Here's more about three cornerback suitors the 49ers could look to draft with the 31st overall selection.
Clemson's cornerback standout A.J. Terrell is one player who's draft stock is up for debate. Throughout the 2019 season, Terrell was held to high regard as a first-round pick, but after the National Championship game against LSU, where Terrell scuffled to hang with Ja'Marr Chase (2019 Biletnikoff award winner) his stock has since then dipped.
However, if Terrell can put together a quality combine and pro day like many anticipate, it'll be a huge testament to where he lands come draft day. If he can test out well, odds are he'll be right back into consideration as a late first to early second-round pick. Terrell finished his college career with six interceptions and 13 pass breakups.
Virginia's Bryce Hall was named one of the starting cornerbacks dating back to his inaugural year in Charlottesville as a true freshman. Since then, he's done everything in his own right to be considered a day one prospect.
Hall's main attribute alludes to how well his competitive toughness jumps out as a player who isn't afraid to play press coverage against the opposition to go along with his superior ball skills.
Hall finished his college career with five interceptions and 38 passes defended, including his monster 2018 season when he led all of college football with 21 pass breakups.
CJ Henderson exploded onto the scene in the SEC when he tallied four interceptions during his true freshman season in 2017. Henderson's contributions to the Flordia secondary became evident early on, using his lengthy frame to break up jump balls and contested catches at a high rate.
In 2019, his 11 passes defended ranked fourth in the SEC, despite not hauling in any interceptions throughout his junior year. Henderson's freakish athletic ability project to serve him well during 1-on-1 drills and make him a potential favorable prospect that many teams could gravitate towards during the agility testing.