49ers: Open competition has emerged at the cornerback position

49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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49ers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1. Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, 49ers

It was Witherspoon’s gig to lose last season.

Starting the first 10 games of 2019, the 2017 third round pick was unimpressive overall, intercepting just one pass, leading to his demotion as a rotational player for the remainder of the season.

With all the depth the 49ers have at the cornerback position, Witherspoon faces an uphill climb to regain his starting job. But considering his homegrown status and strong start to 2019, he’ll get an extended look during training camp.

The main concern with Witherspoon if he were to emerge with the job would be his ability to hold onto the position, as he had trouble doing in 2019. If San Francisco doesn’t feel like waiting that process out, they do have other options such as…

2. Emmanuel Moseley, CB, 49ers

Moseley was the direct beneficiary of Witherspoon’s 2019 struggles.

Slotting in as the starter alongside Richard Sherman for nine games (six regular season contests and three playoff games, including the Super Bowl), Moseley fared well on the field, even if he had just one interception to show for it.

Unfortunately, his most notable play during the season was probably one that cost the 49ers the Super Bowl in February, letting Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill get wide open deep down the field for 45 yards on a third-and-15 play in the fourth quarter.

Even though the end result wasn’t what the team had hoped for, San Francisco ultimately trusted the undrafted free agent Moseley to start the most important game of the season for them

That’s a sign that he likely has a longer leash in this training camp competition than his other cornerback counterparts.