49ers end second day of draft in secondary, pick UM's Thomas

/ by Marcus White
Presented By Big O Tires

The 49ers ended their second day of the 2021 NFL Draft in the secondary.

San Francisco selected Michigan cornerback Ambry Thomas with the No. 102 overall pick Friday.

Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh recruited Thomas, a Detroit native, to Ann Arbor, Mich. to play for the Wolverines. He declared for the NFL draft not long after the Big Ten announced it was postponing fall sports, and he continued to prepare for the draft after the Big Ten announced it would hold a condensed fall season.

Thomas record three interceptions, three passes defensed and two fumble recoveries as a junior in 2019. He returned 19 kicks for 419 yards as a sophomore the previous season, including one for a 99-yard touchdown.

A 6-foot, 191-pound speedster, Thomas was clocked as running a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. NFL Media's Lance Zielerin wrote in Thomas' draft profile that the 21-year-old's "best fit could be as a future starting nickel back for a zone-heavy cover unit."

The 49ers retained Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley and slot cornerback K'Waun Williams in free agency, but they still had needs in the secondary entering the draft. Thomas checks that box.

RELATED: Why 49ers drafted Sermon despite lack of running back need

The NFL compensated the 49ers with the pick under a new condition of the Rooney Rule after the New York Jets hired Robert Saleh as head coach and the Washington Football Team hired Martin Mayhew as general manager.


The 49ers selected four players in the first three rounds of the NFL draft: quarterback Trey Lance (No. 5 overall), guard Aaron Banks (No. 48 overall), running back Trey Sermon (No. 88 overall) and Thomas.

As of this writing, the 49ers hold four picks entering the third and final day of the 2021 NFL Draft:

  • Fifth round (No. 155)
  • Fifth round (No. 170)
  • Fifth round (No. 180)
  • Sixth round (No. 194)

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