With the 49ers’ eighth and final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the club addressed their defensive backfield with the selection of Virginia’s Tim Harris.
The 49ers appear content with their cornerbacks: Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore.
The 49ers did not add to their group of safeties, a collection that includes Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, Marcell Harris, Antone Exum and D.J. Reed.
Here’s more about Harris and what he brings to the 49ers:
Selection: Sixth round (No. 198 overall)
He had an injury-plagued college career, missing most of two seasons with injuries. He played two games in 2016 (dislocated shoulder) and one game in 2017 (fractured wrist). But he came back last season to start in eight of 13 games and recorded 36 tackles with two interceptions and four passes broken up.
“Harris has rare size, speed and explosiveness traits that could make him a coveted priority free agent, but his injury history, modest ball production and inability to match play to the traits are likely to leave him undrafted. There are physical check marks in his favor, but he will need to play a much more instinctive brand of football to cover NFL receivers,” according to Lance Zierlein on NFL.com.
He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but at his pro day, he had a 39-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot-7 broad jump. He ran 4.45 40-yard dash.
The 49ers feel a lot better about their defensive backfield than a lot of pundits, but the club finally addressed cornerback with their final pick in the draft. Harris, whom the 49ers view exclusively as a cornerback, was brough to Santa Clara for one of the team's pre-draft visits.
He may have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, but the 49ers believe his size and physical tools give him a chance to develop. The most likely route would be for him to work his way into a spot on the practice squad so he has time to refine his technique to see if he can be a contributor down the road.
What they’re saying
"Tim Harris, very talented football player, and we felt very good about him and felt like having a, you just can't have enough good corners. So providing competition, athleticism, and he is a profile fit. We aren't married to that profile, but he certainly has that profile at 6-2, 200, and a kid who can run at 4.43" -- 49ers GM John Lynch.
“We were comfortable with the person and loved the talent, and we jumped at it” – Lynch.
"That was a huge setback for me, and made me wonder where did I want to go with this whole football thing. I got a chance to come back for a sixth year, which was something I really wanted to do, because there was still a lot of things I wanted to accomplish at the University of Virginia. The time I had off really made me cherish how much I love football and how much I wanted to get back on the field” – Harris on his fractured wrist in 2017 in recent interview with The Eagles Wire.
”Anything they want me to do, I’ll come in and do it. If it’s just special teams, then let it be special teams. If it’s playing corner, I’ll play corner — if it’s playing safety, I’ll play safety. One thing I have to say, if I come into any team, I’m going to be dedicated no matter what the situation is. I think I kind of proved that, coming off two serious injuries and fighting through adversity. I continued to put my best foot forward. Whatever team I go to, I feel like they’re going to get a guy who is going to put his all into whatever he’s doing” – Harris to the Eagles Wire on what an NFL team can expect from him.