2021 NFL Draft: 49ers could eye Georgia cornerbacks after first round

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Matt Maiocco
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49ers could eye Georgia cornerbacks on Day 2 of NFL draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers enter the 2021 NFL Draft with a starter at every position on both sides of the ball.

Or so it seems.

Potentially, that could change at the cornerback position, where Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley are in line for starting jobs.

At the very least, the 49ers are desperate for depth at a position that could be the most physically demanding in the game. It is almost impossible for the same two cornerbacks to remain healthy and make it through an entire season.

Currently, the top backup on the 49ers’ offseason roster is Dontae Johnson, a seven-year NFL veteran whom the 49ers cut four times since signing him in the 2019 offseason.

So, yes, the 49ers certainly need to bring him more players to strengthen their depth chart.

After the 49ers select a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick, cornerback will be a position of interest on Day 2 of the draft. Here are some of the prospects the 49ers could target in Rounds 2 and 3:

Tyson Campbell, Georgia

Height: 6-foot-1 Weight: 193 pounds

Campbell has the size and agility to be a top-flight NFL corner. He has all the movement skills, but he lacks polish. Campbell could benefit from some time to get comfortable and work his way into a starting position -- either later in his rookie season or in Year 2. The 49ers could be a nice landing spot for him because they already have two starting-caliber cornerbacks. 

Eric Stokes, Georgia

Height: 6-foot 1/2 Weight: 194 pounds

A two-year starter, he was second-team All-SEC as a junior before declaring for the draft. He had four interceptions in 2020 before opting out of Georgia’s bowl game. He allowed only a 38.5 completion percentage last season when targeted. He looks to be a player who can fit into any defensive scheme.

Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

Height: 6-footWeight: 192 pounds

Newsome, the son of the former Green Bay Packers cornerback, has been around the game his entire life. He easily could be a first-round draft pick, but his injury history could cause him to drop into the mid-second round. He missed games each of his three college seasons (14 total) due to injuries, including a groin injury in 2020.

Aaron Robinson, Central Florida

Height: 5-foot-11 1/2 Weight: 186 pounds

Robinson has NFL-caliber physical traits, including great recovery speed. He broke up 20 passes and had three interceptions over his final 22 college games. He began his college career at Alabama, sat out a year, then played his final three at UCF. He will turn 24 years old during his rookie season.

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Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse

Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 205 pounds

His size is prototypical for the cover-3 scheme the 49ers are likely to continue running under new defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. He’s got good speed and athleticism, and his length gives him a chance to recover and make plays on the ball. His brother, Obi, a safety, was a second-round pick of the Raiders in 2017. He signed with the 49ers this offseason.

Paulson Adebo, Stanford

Height: 6-foot-1 Weight: 198 pounds

After redshirting in 2017, Adebo blasted onto the scene in 2018 by leading the nation with 24 passes broken up. He earned first-team All-Pac 12 after in both of his college seasons, during which he registered eight interceptions. His draft stock remains virtually unchanged after he opted out of the 2020 season.

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