Why the 49ers Drafted CB Renardo Green

The 49ers drafted cornerback Renardo Green in the second round, which makes him the highest cornerback that they have taken under Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. Here is why they drafted him.
Dec 2, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Renardo Green (8) reacts
Dec 2, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Renardo Green (8) reacts / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback was a position that looked like a good idea for the San Francisco 49ers to draft in the first round at pick No. 31.

They did end up drafting one, but it wasn't until a round late. The 49ers drafted Florida State cornerback Renardo Green in the second round at pick No. 64. Green is the highest cornerback ever taken by the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.

It goes to show just how much they really like Green since it isn't something they normally do. A cornerback was a position of need for the 49ers since Deommodore Lenoir and Charvarius Ward are free agents after 2024. But Green wasn't brought in just because of that.

“He’s got a heck of a mentality, Renardo," said Lynch. "I mean, that’s the thing we really loved about him. 186 pounds, but he wants to hit you. And everyone correlates, I think interceptions to ball production. We look at it, PBUs, and he had 13 PBUs, one of the tops in the nation last year, had one interception, one forced fumble, really good tackler, plays a tough physical game.

"He told us 15 times when we called him, you got a dog, you got a dog. And that’s exactly what we thought when we drafted him. He can play man-to-man, he’ll get up, challenge receivers, has done it against some really top level players and fired up to have him as well.”

Cornerbacks aren't usually players who exude toughness and aggression. However, in order to play on the 49ers defense, a cornerback needs to have that trait in him. That is why the 49ers drafted Green. He is a cornerback who plays the position exceptionally well with fantastic press coverage.

On top of that, he likes to create chaos by wrecking ball carriers with destructive power. The last time the 49ers had a cornerback like that was K'Waun Williams. He was a player who could play coverage exceedingly well along with playing like a hard nosed linebacker.

The funny thing about that is Green has the mentality of a slot corner just like Williams, and that is something Kyle Shanahan took notice of.

"We’ve seen him play outside and we know he can play outside, but he’s also wired the right way to play inside," Shanahan said. "Just doesn’t have a lot of tape of it, but that’s something we believe he can do both. I’m glad he feels the same and we’ll give him an opportunity to do both.”

This past college football season, Green demonstrated just how fantastic of a press-man coverage cornerback he is when he locked up renowned receiver prospect Malik Nabers. So, Green has proven he can match up with amazing receivers. The 49ers got themselves a good one and hopefully a starter for years to come.

Jose Sanchez