It’s going to be an offseason of turnovers for the San Francisco 49ers, but the NFL Draft may help.
The team has nearly 40 players slated for free agency, according to ESPN. Among them are cornerbacks Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams, Jason Verrett, Dontae Johnson, Jamar Taylor, Akhello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley.
It's unrealistic for the 49ers to re-sign them all, so the upcoming NFL Draft will be vital for San Francisco to rebuild the roster, especially the cornerback position group.
Here are three cornerbacks the 49ers should consider selecting in the NFL Draft:
NFL Draft Option 1: Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder opted out of the recent college football season, choosing to focus on his NFL career instead of playing in a COVID-19 plagued landscape. But his 2019 performance gives enough reason for the 49ers to select him in the NFL Draft.
As a redshirt-sophomore, Farley was named first-team All-ACC after recording four interceptions and 20 tackles. His height is also reminiscent of current 49er Sherman.
NFL Comparison: Richard Sherman (San Francisco 49ers)
Caleb Farley’s Stats at Virginia Tech:
-- Tackles: 56
-- Interceptions: 6
-- Passes Defended: 19
NFL Draft Option 2: Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
Alabama always seems to produce top defensive players, and Surtain II certainly fits the mold.
Nearly identical to Farley in size, standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 202 pounds, Surtain II is the son of former NFL player Patrick Surtain. His father coached him during his high school football career.
Surtain II was named a pre-season All-American this past season, following it up with a strong season. He was the Defensive MVP of Alabama’s 31-14 Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame.
NFL Comparison: Kevin King (Green Bay Packers)
Patrick Surtain II’s Stats at Alabama:
-- Tackles: 116
-- Interceptions: 4
-- Passes Defended: 24
NFL Draft Option 3: Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)
Not only does Samuel Jr. boast the same name as his father, a former NFL cornerback, but he also inherited his knack for solid defensive play.
Smaller than Farley and Surtain II at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, Samuel Jr. would fit perfectly in the man-coverage-heavy scheme the 49ers defense has utilized the past few years, as he uses his quickness and agility to his advantage when covering receivers.
Coordinator Robert Saleh is now the New York Jets head coach, but position coach DeMeco Ryans was promoted to replace him, so it’s likely San Francisco will use a similar scheme moving forward.
NFL Comparison: Donte Jackson (Carolina Panthers)
Asante Samuel Jr.’s Stats at Florida State:
-- Tackles: 97
-- Interceptions: 4
-- Passes Defended: 29