Height: 6-2 3/4
Selection: Third round, No. 66 overall
SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a Sacramento native, in the third round of the NFL draft with the No. 66 overall pick.
“Being close to home is an incredible opportunity, as well as the type of defense they play -- press man, up in your face,” Witherspoon said. “When I came in for a visit, they were asking me if I’ve adopted that role and if I’d be willing to continue that. And I said, ‘Absolutely.’
“It’s an opportunity to play for such a great organization, close to home, with such a savvy defensive mentality. I think it’s going to be a great place for me.”
The 49ers were also scheduled to have the next pick, but traded the selection at No. 67 for the New Orleans Saints’ second-round pick in next year’s draft, as well as a seventh-round selection (No. 229 overall) this year. The 49ers now have 10 picks in next year’s draft.
The Saints used that pick at No. 67 to select Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara.
Witherspoon began his college career at Sacramento City. He played his final three college seasons at Colorado. He started 12 games last season and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Witherspoon led the nation with 22 pass breakups. He recorded one interception -- a game-saving pick in the end zone to preserve a 41-38 victory over Oregon. A pre-med student majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, he said he aspires to be a doctor after his football career.
But Witherspoon said he is committed to football and promised the 49ers during his visit to Santa Clara that he will make huge strides over the next few years as he continues to develop as a player.