49ers second-round pick Green offers intriguing CB versatility

49ers second-round pick Green offers intriguing CB versatility originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Athleticism and versatility are some of the common traits among the 49ers' 2024 NFL Draft class. And that's by design.

San Francisco's roster is one of the most complete in the league, leaving very few opportunities for rookies to earn consistent roles out of the gate.

Hence why the 49ers value versatility.

In speaking to reporters after the conclusion of the NFL draft, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan were asked about Florida State cornerback Renardo Green, whom San Francisco selected with the No. 64 pick in the second round of the draft, and whether he could be a candidate for the starting nickel corner job.

“Yeah, I mean we think [CB] Renardo [Green] is a guy who has that kind of versatility to play inside and outside, [CB] Chase Lucas, one of the free agents we brought in has played nickel, so we have some candidates in there," Lynch said. "[Deommodore Lenoir] gives us nice flexibility. He can do both.

"We think Renardo has that flexibility as well. We'll see. A lot of that, it's nice when you have that flexibility because you can kind of toy around. That's on Kyle and them, they start out whatever way they want. But to be able to have that flexibility to do either or and then you just find the best matchups.”

The 49ers lacked consistency at the nickel corner position last season, with Lenoir and Isiah Oliver splitting the majority of duties throughout the year while Samuel Womack III, Darrell Luter Jr. and Jason Verrett also received snaps. While Green could be a nice fit there, the 49ers aren't going to force anything and will let the competition play out.

"I mean, whatever makes the end result the best," Shanahan explained. "If your best nickel player is also your best outside player, then we want to change based off of personnel. If it's not that way then it makes it easy and a guy can just stay in one spot.

"But that's what's good about adding Renardo yesterday. He played in college all on the outside and we like him for that. But we also think he's wired the way you can be at nickel from a mentality in the run game, also the quickness in coverage. But you haven't seen him do it, so we know he is wired for both. So we'll just play it out on the practice field.”

The 49ers have depth at many key positions that should allow for versatile rookies like Green to develop at their own pace and fill in wherever the team needs them.

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