New 49er Tarvarius Moore switching from safety to cornerback

San Francisco 49ers’ Tarvarius Moore answers questions at NFL football rookie camp Friday, May 4, 2018, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA — Miscommunication.

Tarvarius Moore was certain he knew where the 49ers intended to play him when they drafted him in the third round of the NFL draft last Friday.

“Definitely safety,” he said on a conference call.

Definitely not.

The 49ers will play Moore at cornerback next season, which comes as a surprise, and not just to him. Moore is a free safety — that’s where he played at Southern Mississippi. College safeties rarely become successful corners in the NFL. Cornerback is a more difficult position to play than safety.

Generally speaking, defensive backs move from corner to safety, not the other way around. Think Ronnie Lott, who was an All-Pro cornerback for the 49ers before he became an All-Pro safety.

“I have no problem playing corner, so let’s try it out and give it my best and see what happens,” Moore said Friday in the 49ers’ media room before rookie minicamp. “A lot of teams showed interest in me playing corner as well for the same reasons — long arms, fast, good feet, good hips. I felt like that was a position I was going to have to learn or transition to.”

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This article has 93 Comments

  1. “Generally speaking, defensive backs move from safety to corner, not the other way around. Think Ronnie Lott, who was an All-Pro cornerback for the 49ers before he became an All-Pro safety.”

    ???Hmm???

      1. I think Grant made a typo. He said, “College safeties rarely become successful corners in the NFL. Cornerback is a more difficult position to play than safety.”. Then he said, “Generally speaking, defensive backs move from safety to corner, not the other way around. Think Ronnie Lott”

        He was stating why he thinks Moore will likely fail. Lott was a CB, then a S for us.

        1. You are probably correct. ‘DBs move back from corner to safety’, makes sense.
          .
          However, Moore ran a 4.32 forty, so he has plenty of speed to become a corner. Guess he was assuming that most safeties are a step slower than a CB.

        2. I saw the same poor proof-reading mistakes, too. I think many readers were put off from the summary blurb:
          “Generally speaking, defensive backs move from safety to corner, not the other way around. Think Ronnie Lott.”
          Immediately, I knew Grant couldn’t sort out the marbles in his head. It’s okay, we mostly understood where this was coming from and going to.

      1. “You misquoted. That’s not what he wrote.”

        Haha. I knew some smartass would say something like this. Of course Grant could admit his mistake, but it doesn’t surprise that he didn’t. Obviously seb saw it.

        But as I said, I expected this.

        http://i68.tinypic.com/aev98i.jpg

        There’s your proof.

  2. Grant’s having fun–looking for cracks and exposing them for all to see.

    It’s evident Moore has somewhat rare physical characteristics. Let’s see what he can do with competent NFL coaching and working alongside capable vets–Richard Sherman included.

  3. Moore fits SHFS just like Ace Ventura parks a car; like a glove. His potential as a press corner in this scheme is overflowing like a foamy head of beer, and if he had played at a big time school, I believe he would have been drafted near the first round….

  4. An NFL team is changing a college DB’s position!The Horror! The Horror!
    How can this allowed to happen in this day of age?

  5. One senerio how this might play out. Right now at corner there is Witherspoon, Ward and Williams. They brought in McFadden and they like Maybin. Reed is a corner that they are trying at Safety. And there is Sherman coming off of the injury. If everyone makes it through training camp and the pre-season healthy, you watch, the last week of pre-season or so, Moore has an injury that puts him on IR for the year. That would give him a redshirt year to “rehab “.

  6. He was a CB in high school. So he’s not a stranger to that position. The FS position in Seattle system needs not just athleticism, but also a high football IQ (great anticipation, lot of film study is essential) — while a rangy, athletic “system” CB like Browner can be very productive.

    The other CB from FSU, McFadden is interesting vis-a-vis Quenton Meeks. They are very similar. Both are tall, quality CBs whose slower speeds are seen as a liability to the extent neither was drafted. Meeks is a local guy who wanted to play for the Niners and learn from Sherman but ended up UDFA with Jags — a team not far from McFadden’s college. McFadden chose the Niners, a team near Meek’s college, because he wants to learn from Sherman……

  7. This is not a big deal. They try him at cb. If it looks good then great. If not then move him to safety. Full stop

    1. Exactly, he going to be ask to learn both and play both at different times. The Niners want Multi-position players to keep offensives guessing. Now it rare to find high level players that can do that and extremely rare for a whole D to fit that mold but greatness requires audacity.

    2. Yup. The guy has the speed and agility to play NFL CB which is a need for the 49ers. Stress the kid with CB drills and it will make him a better Safety if needed. This isn’t a big deal. If he can play CB then the 49ers have an amazing find. If he can play Safety then the 49ers have an amazing find.

  8. LOL, Hafley said he threw the phone across the room when Moore ran a 4.3 at his Pro Day. Interesting to me that they want to work the other CB at both slot and FS.

  9. Next February Bay Area sports media types should hold a combine day–just for the media. Run all the drills and check all the measurables that college football players are run through…with some modifications, such as number of reps at 50lbs. Have the event at a venue where the paying public could attend. All proceeds to a good cause or two. Oh, and have a medical cadre on hand to treat the many injured.

    What would Grant’s time be in the cone drill?

            1. I run in the Milpitas foothills every weekday, (Up Old Calaveras Rd to Downing Rd, to Calaveras Rd, thru Ed Levin Park and back)….feel free to join me?

              1. Grants fooling with us. What he’s good at is the Cohn drill. If questioned about it he’ll claim that his spellchecker changed the word for his post.

  10. This guy is superb athlete. I think he could play WR and TE if need be. I don’t see a problem at all.

  11. Props to Seb. He has mentioned the “quick hips” facet of the CB position.

    “I have no problem playing corner, so let’s try it out and give it my best and see what happens,” Moore said Friday in the 49ers’ media room before rookie minicamp. “A lot of teams showed interest in me playing corner as well for the same reasons — long arms, fast, good feet, good hips. I felt like that was a position I was going to have to learn or transition to.”

    1. Bah. I looked at this. Nfl network was really generous with their grading. Almost more than half the teams got an A or B grade.
      I would have graded the cards higher than they did because Rosen at 11 was great value as was Kirk in the 2nd.

  12. My post draft 53.
    .
    QB- Jimmie Garoppolo, CJ Beathard.
    .
    RB- Jerick McKinnon, Joe Williams, Matt Breida, Jeremy McNichols.
    .
    FB- Kyle Juszczyk.
    .
    WR- Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Richie James.
    .
    TE- George Kittle, Garrett Celek, Cole Hikutini.
    .
    OT- Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey, Garry Gilliam, Darrell Williams
    .
    OG- Joshua Garnett, Laken Tomlinson, Jonathan Cooper.
    .
    C- Weston Richberg, Erik Magnuson.
    .
    DE- Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Cassius Marsh, Ronald Blair.
    .
    DT- Deforest Buckner, Sheldon Day, Jullian Taylor.
    .
    NT- Earl Mithchell, DJ Jones.
    .
    OLB- Jerry Attaochu, Eli Harold, Pita Taumoepenu.
    .
    ILB- Rueben Foster, Malcom Smith, Fred Warner, Korey Toomer.
    .
    CB- Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Kyle Williams, Tarvarus Mcfadden, Tarvarius Moore.
    .
    S- Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, Don Jones.
    .
    P-Bradley Pinion.
    .
    K- Robbie Gould.
    .
    LS- Kyle Nelson.

    1. Makes sense.
      I would also keep my eye out for some late additions this year, similar to Elvis Dummervil. I expect there to be more players cut that the niners might find interesting.

      1. Sebbie….It’s going to get dark out…… You don’t want to fall asleep…….Freddy is watching…..

    2. Keep your eyes out for Steven Dunbar. He has a different type of skill set Shanahan might like for match ups. In that case I see Robinson as odd man out.

      1. George, I agree about Robinson. I tried to justify Bolden and Bourne, but it is a numbers game.
        .
        I think it might be easier to try and stash Dunbar on the PS, and wait for attrition. When a WR goes down due to injury, then move him up to the 53.
        .
        I sure like his catch radius, and he could be a good red zone weapon.

    3. Seb

      Pretty darned good there, Seb…pretty darned good….I still think that Jimmy Ward, Garrett Celek, and Solomon Thomas are tradeable and can see CJ beathard and Henneghan in a shootout at backup QB

      1. Ore, maybe they should offer CJB to Washington for a 4th round pick, if Henneghan looks competent.
        .
        I would keep Thomas and offer Armstead, since he might be redundant, and therefor, expendable.
        .
        I like Celek, and he is a better blocker than Hikutini.

    4. Seb
      Why the F did you come back? This place was slowly becoming intellectual until you showed up again.

  13. Worst draft possible given who was on the board when they picked. It seems Mcglichy will be a starter not an all pro, which is fine. Warner was their best pick but better players on the board when he was selected that fit the same or more important need. The rest of the pucks won’t be I. The league in 3 years… Where was tall receiver, edge, true corner, guard? Weren’t these the clear most important needs for upgrade?? Did not address a single one other than linebacker. Another 6 win season at best with what Rams and Cardinals did in draft to address needs. We should be better than Seattle with what they lost in FA. Here’s to hoping KS and JL don’t get Balke- itis…

  14. Nice Seb, but I think they’ll carry a third QB, most likely a veteran FA. If they put themselves in a position to possibly make the playoffs, and the unfortunate happens and JG gets hurt, do you trust handing the reigns to CJ? I like the kid but I think they need more insurance at that position, especially with the expectations of the season. Thoughts?

  15. Brian Kelly at Central Michigan (with offensive assistant Jeff Quinn & strength/conditioning coach Jake Flint) who oversaw Staley’s rebirth as an offensive lineman, and the same group who, years later, oversaw McGlinchey’s transition at Notre Dame. In fact, they used Staley as a roadmap for McGlinchey’s path, and spoke highly of him, often.

  16. Any thoughts on Chris Biderman’s comment?

    “Safeties are often converted to cornerback in San Francisco’s scheme because of its reliance on Cover 3, where the corner essentially plays a deep zone with the sideline as an assister”

    1. The 49ers play man coverage, too. And playing quarters coverage as a safety in college is a lot different than playing cover 3 as a corner in the NFL.

  17. You would think he would want to move to corner, they get more money and a shutdown corner is one of the most famed and important positions in sports!

            1. Sure. If you draft a safety and turn him into a corner, you shouldn’t take that risk before Round 5.

          1. Eh. They had a guy they wanted and they got him. If he doesn’t work out it’s a bad pick, but not because of where he was taken. JMO

            1. If he doesn’t work out, he hurts the organization more than Flowers would hurt the Seahawks if he he doesn’t work out.

              1. I like Tarvarius’ chances of success Moore than Flowers based on agility alone. That’s without factoring in his rare 4.3 speed, and the fact that Hafley hand selected him prior to displaying that speed. He’s got a pretty good track record wrt DB assessments….

          2. That’s fair, though having a 6 2″ safety that can run with the fastest WRs isn’t the worst option if CB doesn’t work out. I like Colbert and Taart, but injuries happen and Colbert has 6 starts.

            Personally I don’t mind taking some risks on athletic players with question marks in the 3rd round. I think Athello was a big risk last year. Yes, he played CB not safety, but he didn’t tackle. Now he does and it looks like it was a good pick. We’ll see

  18. After the draft many of the same questions still arise.

    1. Will the Niners correct the pre snap penalties?
    2. Will the Niners have a good pass rush?
    3. Will red zone efficiently improve? (TD’s)
    4. Will the Niners win those games decided by 3 points or less?
    5. How will the new O-line perform?
    6. Can the team stay reasonable healthy?

    Of course the answers won’t be forthcoming till the up and coming season is in full swing.

      1. Steel, I believe they had 46 pre snap penalties last year. Jaguars led the league with 51 followed by the Hawks and the Dolphins with 47. The Saints lead the league in discipline with 26.

    1. >>4. Will the Niners win those games decided by 3 points or less?

      Under, in the final 5 wins of last season, they won their 2 games decided by 3 or less. I think we can pretty much throw out what transpired the 1st half of last season.

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