Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The 49ers drafted a cornerback, folks. Finally.
For the first time since 2019, when they drafted Tim Harris Jr. in the sixth round, there’s a new 49ers draftee, Ambry Thomas. Thomas, from Michigan, was selected 102nd overall, becoming the team’s highest corner selection since Ahkello Witherspoon was taken 66th overall in 2017.
This was the team’s most glaring need, with no reliable depth available behind Emmanuel Moseley, Jason Verrett and K’Waun Williams.
General manager John Lynch said that the 49ers were also considering Stanford corner Paulson Adebo, who was selected 76th overall by the New Orleans Saints.
The decision to draft Thomas, who opted out of the 2020 season, was credited largely to the 49ers’ vice president of player personnel, Adam Peters, who lynch said “championed” Thomas. What they find special about him is his ability to track the ball at an elite level and attack it at the catch point; Thomas grew on them during the process, and Lynch praised his mental acuity for the game.
He finished the 2019 season with 38 tackles, three for a loss, and three interceptions.
In Thomas, the 15th cornerback selected, San Francisco has finally invested some draft capital in a corner, and they did so with a natural athlete. Thomas has absolute burner speed, and given his kick return experience in college, could have some added special teams value.
Ambry Thomas was drafted with pick 102 of round 3 in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 8.97 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 186 out of 1790 CB from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/GQqGkmjpKW #RAS #49ers pic.twitter.com/7FKQSYMJkp
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 1, 2021