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 Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

3. Jason Verrett, CB, 49ers

Jason Verrett hasn’t exactly lived up to his first-round draft pedigree during his time in the NFL.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2014, the team released him after four underwhelming seasons. The 49ers scooped him up in free agency following the 2018 season.

The former first rounder hasn’t started a full season since 2015, his best one to date with three interceptions in 14 games (13 starts). In that season he was fantastic, but he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy since.

In fact, Verrett has played a grand total of six game over the last four seasons. That’s not very encouraging.

The main culprit for his lack of success so far is due to various injuries over the years. Nevertheless, San Francisco is hoping to cash in on a healthy Verrett, who flashed his potential during a (mostly) healthy 2015.

It was that kind of ability that made him a first round pick in 2014 and a Pro Bowler the next year. Verrett is a true wild card in this competition, but Saleh maintains full confidence in his skillset.

"“He looks a lot more comfortable. He looks a lot more confident. It’s just a matter of him getting back into the feel of it. It’s been a while for him where he’s been able to put together a full training camp. He’s off to a good start.”"

Should Verrett continue to receive high praise from the coaching staff, his outlook could brighten as training camp progresses.

Who will earn the job?

The 49ers also have other names at cornerback like K’Waun Williams and Jamar Taylor. However, neither one is competing for the outside cornerback job, but rather the nickel position, which lines up in the slot.

Ultimately, time will tell which of the aforementioned players will win the starting job alongside Richard Sherman.

Though it’s an open competition, look for Emmanuel Moseley to be the favorite to earn the position.

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However, a strong showing from either Ahkello Witherspoon or Jason Verrett in camp could force Robert Saleh and his defensive staff to make some tough decisions ahead of the regular season.