Prospect Profiles: Cornerbacks Linked to the 49ers

As the league continues to inch near the 2020 NFL Draft, each day, is breaking down prospects who have been linked to the San Francisco 49ers through mock drafts and expert analysis. NFL pundits have identified the offensive line, defensive backs, linebackers and receivers as positions the 49ers could target with the 31st-overall pick in next month's draft. In the previous installment of Prospect Profiles, safety, linebacker and offensive line were addressed as the 49ers could seek a long-term replacement for Jimmie Ward, who is set to hit the open market later this month.

Cornerback is the next position we'll break down. The 49ers owned the top passing defense in the NFL in 2019, allowing an average 169.2 yards per game. Part of the success is due to San Francisco's revamped pass rush, who took some of the pressure off of the 49ers secondary headlined by veteran cornerback Richard Sherman. Two seasons removed from an Achilles tear, Sherman was elite in coverage in Year 9.

Sherman appeared in 15 games and registered 61 tackles, three interceptions, one for a touchdown and 11 passes defended while allowing a passer rating of just 45.3 en route to a Pro Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro honors. Sherman, who turns 32 this month, is entering his contract year in San Francisco. While the 49ers have the option of signing or extending him beyond the 2020 season, addressing a long-term solution to play opposite the veteran, or his potential successor, San Francisco could upgrade the position next month via the draft.

Here's a look at some cornerback prospects who have been linked to the 49ers.

Prospect Profiles: | Safety | Offensive Line | Linebacker | Wide Receiver |


Trevon Diggs, Alabama

2019 Stats: Younger brother of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Trevon earned third-team AP All-American and second-team All-SEC accolades as a senior. He recorded a career-high 37 total tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and tied for a team-high eight pass breakups.

What the experts are saying: "Talented prospect with rare combination of size, strength and ball skills. As a former receiver, Diggs has an instinctive feel for his opponent's plans and uses his size and athleticism to disrupt the blueprint when possible." - NFL analyst Lance Zierlein

How he fits with the 49ers: "Diggs offers good size (6-1, 205 pounds), strength and downfield speed. He shot up the board quickly during his big senior season (three interceptions in 12 games)." - Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Combine Results: Diggs only participated in position drills at the Combine.


Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State

2019 Stats: Dantzler missed three contests his junior season due to an injury and started just nine games. He did, however tie for the team-high two interceptions and eight pass breakups to go along with 40 tackles in 2019.

What the experts are saying: "Very long, stringy cornerback with surprising strength and a competitive mindset that had quarterbacks looking for easier battles elsewhere. He looks to suffocate and contest the route from start to finish and does an excellent job of maintaining phase in the vertical plane." - Zierlein

How he fits with the 49ers: "It's time to find an eventual successor to Richard Sherman on the island. The Mississippi State product is a perfect fit for the 49ers Cover 3 scheme as a long, rangy athlete with a high IQ and good ball skills." - Bucky Brooks,

Combine Results:

Table inside Article
40-yard DashBench PressVertical JumpBroad Jump3-cone Drill20-yard Shuttle
Cameron Dantzler4.64--34.5------

Damon Arnette, Ohio St

2019 Stats: Earning second-team All Big-Ten honors, Arnette posted 35 tackles, an interception and eight pass breakups in 13 starts his senior season with the Buckeyes.

What the experts are saying: "He plays with good awareness in space and has the physicality in run support that zone defenses look for. His potential and success could be directly tied to what a team asks of him, which makes his evaluation and grade more of a sliding scale depending upon scheme fit." - Zierlein

How he fits with the 49ers: "San Francisco's relentless pass rush covers up some question marks at the corner position." Charley Casserly,

Combine Results:

Table inside Article
40-yard DashBench PressVertical JumpBroad Jump3-cone Drill20-yard Shuttle
Damon Arnette4.56----------

C.J. Henderson, Florida

2019 Stats: A first-team All-SEC selection in 2019, Henderson led the Gators with 11 pass breakups and totaled 33 tackles with three for loss despite playing in just nine regular season games due to an ankle injury.

What the experts are saying: "Silky smooth boundary cornerback with mirror-and-match footwork and the agility and athleticism to stay connected to routes. He has NFL recovery burst and the long speed to track vertical routes downfield. Henderson is a fluid cornerback with ball skills and burst and has CB1 ability as a first-rounder." - Zierlein

How he fits with the 49ers: "Richard Sherman is still proving himself as one of the league's most dominant corners, but finding a young cover man to groom behind him should be a priority. Henderson has all the tools to quickly develop into a quality starter, something the 49ers could use across the field from Sherman sooner than later." - Luke Easterling, USA Today

Combine Results:

Table inside Article
40-yard DashBench PressVertical JumpBroad Jump3-cone Drill20-yard Shuttle
C.J. Henderson4.392037.5127.0----

Kristian Fulton, LSU

2019 Stats: Fulton started all 15 games during LSU's national title run and posted 38 tackles, an interception and a team-high 14 pass breakups.

What the experts are saying: "Fulton has good size and is usually searching to make plays on the football. He plays with decent eye balance in off-coverage." - Zierlein

How he fits with the 49ers: "Although Richard Sherman has revived his career with the 49ers, San Francisco's talent at cornerback beyond him is lackluster. Fulton is an aggressive corner who will come up and play the run and can stick with physical receivers on the outside." - Dan Kadar, SB Nation

Combine Results:

Table inside Article
40-yard DashBench PressVertical JumpBroad Jump3-cone Drill20-yard Shuttle
Kristian Fulton4.46--35.5123.06.944.36

Take a look at some of the names being associated with the San Francisco 49ers in various mock drafts.