49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 24, 2013
49ers looking at big-bodied cornerbacks in the draft, too

If you're wondering which positions the 49ers will target with their arsenal of draft picks, a good guide is the positions they've pursued in free agency. San Francisco has shown interest in at least two cornerbacks, Sean Smith and Nnamdi Asomugha, known for their big bodies and ability to play press coverage. Smith signed with the Chiefs while Asomugha remains unsigned and still could end up with the 49ers.

If he doesn't, the 49ers may find a similar type of player in the draft. Last week, the team met with North Carolina State's 6-3 David Amerson prior to the Wolfpack's pro day. Amerson had an astounding 13 interceptions in 2011. To put that in perspective, only two other cornerbacks sure to be taken in the draft - Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks (16) and Oregon State's Jordan Poyer (13) - had 13 interceptions over their college careers.

Amerson, however, lapsed in 2012, and the question teams must answer is which season was the aberration.

The 49ers also were on hand at the pro days for Florida State's Xavier Rhodes, who at 6-1, 217 pounds is another big, physical press cornerback. They also had representatives to watch Banks, William and Mary's B.W. Webb and Houston's D.J. Hayden, all of whom are expected to be taken early in the draft.

The 49ers also have shown an interest in defensive linemen - especially 3-4 defensive ends - in free agency as well as safeties. Look for those positions to be targeted in the draft as well.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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