49ers pick corner in McShay's latest 2021 NFL mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Just one season removed from reaching the Super Bowl, the 49ers enter an offseason with plenty of holes on their roster. Chief among them is cornerback.
When free agency begins, the 49ers essentially could lose every corner who played significant snaps this season. Literally. That brings us to the 2021 NFL Draft.
ESPN's Todd McShay released his first mock draft following the NFL's regular season, and he has the 49ers taking Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley with the No. 12 pick.
"There isn't a bigger question mark on the team going forward than at corner," McShay wrote. "Enter Farley, a 2020 opt-out with terrific ball skills. He had four interceptions for the Hokies in 2019."
McShay mentions the 49ers could add a quarterback like Ohio State's Justin Fields, but feels cornerback is the bigger roster hole right now. Farley would make a lot of sense, too.
Farley is a long cornerback at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, with all the skills an NFL front office will look for. He was voted First-Team All-ACC as a redshirt sophomore and has elite ball skills. The 22-year-old entered Virginia Tech as an athlete and was expected to play receiver before being converted to corner. Over two years with the Hokies, he recorded six interceptions and had 19 passes defensed.
While Farley has the physical traits to be a perfect zone corner, he also is a quick-twitch athlete who can lockdown No. 1 receivers in man-to-man coverage.
Caleb Farley is a technically sound & fluid cornerback.
1st rep: Stays square, chest to chest, and nearly comes down w/INT.
2nd rep: Smooth backpedal. Recognize & drive on the route.
Farley is equipped to produce in multiple schemes. A top-15 prospect in my opinion. #CRFB pic.twitter.com/EOC7yPfJx4
— Damian Parson 🏈 (@DP_NFL) December 25, 2020
Along with Alabama's Patrick Surtain, Farley is seen as one of the top two corners in the draft. He could make plenty of sense for the 49ers, and certainly fits a roster hole.