Top 5 players the 49ers should want after Day 4 of the Combine

Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The defensive backs just completed their athletic testing at the Combine. Of those players, here are the top five the 49ers should be interested in:

1. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Height: 5-11
Weight: 193 lbs.
Arms: 32″
Hands: 9″
40: 4.52
3-cone: —
Short shuttle: —
Vert: —
Broad: 118″
Bench: 14

Some analysts considered Baker the best cornerback in the draft before the Combine. Then, he ran a 4.52 — not terribly fast for a corner — and skipped the agility testing. Now, he might fall out of the first round. Which is good news for the 49ers, because they pick fourth in Round 2. If Baker is available, they can’t pass on him. He plays both man-to-man and zone coverage extremely well. He broke up nine passes in 12 games last season, while no corner on the 49ers broke up more than four passes in 16 games.

2. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

Height: 5-11 3/4″
Weight: 192 lbs.
Arms: 32″
Hands: 9 7/8″
40: 4.51
3-cone: 7.31
Short shuttle: 4.31
Vert: 39.5
Broad: 118″
Bench: 18

If Baker isn’t available when the 49ers pick in Round 2, Ya-Sin probably will be. He broke up 12 passes last season and, like Baker, can play both man-to-man and zone coverage, which is important. The corners the 49ers drafted the past two seasons — Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore — both struggle covering man to man. They hurt the 49ers in key moments of games, because no defense plays zone 100 percent of the time.

3. Juan Thornhill, FS, Virginia

Height: 6-0 1/4″
Weight: 205 lbs.
Arms: 31 1/8″
Hands: 8 3/4″
40: 4.42
3-cone: —
Short shuttle: —
Vert: 44:
Broad: 141″
Bench: 21

Considered a Day 3 prospect before the Combine. Then, he ran a 4.42. Now, he almost certainly will get picked on Day 2. If he’s available when the 49ers pick in Round 3 — they pick third — they should take him. Thornhill is a big-time playmaker who intercepted 13 passes the past three seasons in college.

4. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, FS, Florida

Height: 5-10 7/8″
Weight: 210 lbs.
Arms: 30 7/8″
Hands: 9 1/4″
40: 4.48
3-cone: 7.03
Short shuttle: 4.2
Vert: 36″
Broad: 117″
Bench: 17

Another free safety who could be available when the 49ers pick in Round 3. Chauncey-Gardner intercepted three passes last season, then left Florida as a junior. The 49ers have selected just one junior (Solomon Thomas) before the fifth round since John Lynch became the general manager. Will Lynch make another exception for Gardner-Johnson?

5. Darnell Savage Jr, FS, Maryland

Height: 5-10 3/4″
Weight: 198 lbs.
Arms: 31″
Hands: 9 1/8″
40: 4.36
3-cone: 7.03
Short shuttle: 4.14
Vert: 39.5″
Broad: 126″
Bench: 11

If the 49ers don’t get Thornhill or Gardner Johnson in Round 3, they probably can get Savage Jr. in Round 4. Savage Jr. tested extremely well at the Combine and intercepted eight passes the past three seaosns in college. But, he’s small for a free safety, and durability could be an issue for him, as it was for Jimmie Ward, another small safety.

Notable: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Height: 6-1 7/8″
Weight: 185 lbs.
Arms: 31 1/2″
Hands: 9 1/4″
40: 4.37
3-cone: —
Short shuttle: —
Vert: —
Broad: —
Bench: —

The top-rated cornerback in the draft. Williams is a fine player and would fit the 49ers defensive scheme, but some will team will take him with a top-15 pick, and it shouldn’t be the 49ers. They have to take an edge rusher first this year. They haven’t taken an edge rusher before the sixth round since Lynch became the GM.

This article has 22 Comments

  1. Didn’t Baker have some off the field problems?

    I think Thornhill in the 3rd round is a real possibility.

    1. I think Thornhill will go in the 2nd round.

      If the 49ers did want to address FS in the draft rather than FA they will have some options on day 2.

      1. I admit it’s going to be tight. If they want him, it’s probably best to trade down in round 2 and then take him.

  2. I wouldn’t be upset if we got Michael Jackson from the U. He’s got ball skills and we need playmakers on defense whether it’s safety or corner. TURNOVERS WANTED!

  3. Justin Houston in free agency, swap picks with the Giants for OBJ (I imagine we would probably have to give up more as well, perhaps our second and/or next years second), at 6 draft one of the second tier rushers eg. Sweat, Ferrell or Burns.


    Not a bad haul and upgrades key positions

  4. Greedyyyyyyyy. That’s my player I want if I can’t have Allen. But like you said, they need that edge. Unless some miracle trade happens and we sign a great edge in free agency. I think Baker in the 2nd would be a steal.

  5. I think they will take Montez Sweat. They’ll keep it quiet and try to trade down with Bosa and Allen going ahead of Sweat. It’s reported that Arizona will stand pat with Josh Rosen and take Bosa or Allen. The Raiders want Kyler Murray. I look for the Lions, Dolphins and Redskins to aggressively attempt to get ahead of Oakland’s fourth rounder, putting the Jets and Niners in play for a pick trade.

  6. The biggest news during the combine was that the Cardinals we’re going to take Murray and the 49ers would have their choice of Bosa , Allen or trade back.

    I read today the Cardinals are totally committed to Josh Rosen.

    The internet rumor mill giveth, the internet rumor mill taketh. A reminder that it’s best to under react during lying season, preseason and training camp.

    But the Cardinals could still trade out of the first pick. It’s not out of the question 49ers can have their choice of Bosa Allen or trade. I’m just not banking on it.

  7. I was curious about the Aldon Smith to Josh Allen Comparison so I checked their combine numbers.
    Weight wise there was only a difference of 1 lb.
    Allen is taller by an inch but Aldon’s arms were almost 2 inches longer and he had 1in longer hands (which I could care less about for a DE unless they show a propensity to miss tackles. )
    In regards to the test’s Allen was better at every single test he did with the exception of the broad jump which they tied at with 118.
    That said I think their games are very different. Aldon was more varied in his rush while Allen is more of a speed rusher. Some of that was due to the fact that he was playing as an olb. Both did a great job of keeping the OT’s hands off them Aldon was more violent with them but Allen seemed to be more consistently accurate with his hand placement… he should have drawn a lot more holding penalties than he did.

    1. Shoup – Great breakdown.

      Allen has great quickness off the snap. He’s a blur. Fantastic change of direction.

      Aldon had a way stronger bull rush, hand punch. He often “showed the tackle power” early to set up other moves later. Aldon’s late 2012 shoulder/labrum injury (worsened during the same Pats game Justin was hurt) greatly hampered that fundamental aspect of his game. He was never the same.

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