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49ers Week 1 overreactions: CBs too low on offseason list?

NBC Sports
Jason Verrett

Seldom does a Week 1 road victory produce the kind of second-guessing and hand-wringing as the 49ers’ 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

There did not seem to be a lot of celebrating after the win.

The season-ending injury to cornerback Jason Verrett certainly made for a somber trip to West Virginia, where the 49ers will conduct their practices for the week before moving on to Philadelphia.

Also, the manner in which the 49ers took their foot on the gas and nearly saw that game get away was head-scratching.

The bottom line: We now have a lot of fodder before Week 2.

Overreaction? Yes.

The 49ers scored more points than any team in the NFL in Week 1. Granted, seven of those points came as a result of Dre Greenlaw’s pick-six, but the offense scored 34 points.

And, yes, another seven points came from Trey Lance’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield, but it was Garoppolo and the rest of the offense that got the offense to that point.

Garoppolo threw for 314 yards. Lance’s time will come, of course, but Garoppolo still is the best quarterback to lead this offense at this point.

Overreaction? No.

First off, everyone has major misses in the draft. So, yes, they have had major misses in the draft.

And we’re not saying you’re wrong about this draft class, but after one game, it’s way too early to make those kinds of judgments about the 2021 draft.


Of course, it is not a good look to have such high draft picks as healthy scratches on the opening week.

There is little doubt at this point that Day 2 draft picks such as guard Aaron Banks, running back Trey Sermon and cornerback Ambry Thomas are not as good as Day 3 selections Jaylon Moore, Elijah Mitchell and Deommodore Lenoir.

Just as Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster were not as good as George Kittle from the 2017 draft, it does not matter what round you get good players. The important thing is you get good players.

Overreaction? Yes and no.

Time will tell on Sermon. As stated above, it’s not a great look to have a third-round draft pick inactive. He will get his opportunity now that Raheem Mostert is out of action for at least half the season.

As for Mitchell, he looks to be a strong bet to break the 1,000-yard mark -- if he remains healthy. It’s almost a certainty at this point the 49ers will have their fifth different leading rusher in the five seasons of Kyle Shanahan as coach.

Overreaction? Yes.

The 49ers’ top cornerbacks for the remainder of the season figure to be Emmanuel Moseley, Deommodore Lenoir, Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick. They can win with those players.

Moseley is a good player. He will be a starter when he gets healthy. And if Lenoir continues to progress, he might never leave the starting lineup. So that leaves the 49ers with two solid, veteran quarterbacks.

It seems to me that the 49ers might actually have more question marks at wide receiver. Brandon Aiyuk had a very good rookie season, but it did not help his long-term development that he did not have an offseason program or training camp as a rookie.

He is a talented player who still is figuring things out. Shanahan clearly is trying to light a fire under him to get the most out of him. It would not be wise to give up on him after one game of his second NFL season when he showed such promise as a rookie.

The 49ers need a threat opposite of Deebo Samuel, and Aiyuk is far-and-away the best candidate for that role.

Overreaction? No.

Second-year defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is a huge presence in the middle of the team’s defensive line. His biggest contribution to the team is his ability to play run downs.

So, yes, a healthy Kinlaw will give the 49ers’ run defense a major boost.

That said, the 49ers’ issues with their run defense were mostly blown assignments -- players being in the wrong gaps. That’s fixable. And first-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans better get that solved in a hurry.

Overreaction? Yes … but I see what you’re saying.


The 49ers re-signed Jason Verrett to a one-year deal and put a lot of trust him to lock down one of the starting jobs to pair opposite of Emmanuel Moseley.

In the past two weeks, they signed the two top veteran cornerbacks still available, Norman and Kirkpatrick.

The 49ers invested two draft picks in cornerbacks: Thomas and Lenoir. They got one Week 1 starter out of the draft. But, I suppose you're saying they could have selected a cornerback sooner than the third round. They could have selected more corners in previous drafts. All that is reasonable.

Between the time the 49ers had their second and third draft picks, there were five cornerbacks selected but only two who started Week 1 for their respective teams: Asante Samuel Jr. (Chargers) and Paulson Adebo (Saints).

The overreaction part is that the 49ers should value cornerback more than defensive line.

It seems that most teams that win the Super Bowl -- or make deep playoff runs -- do it on the strength of their pass rush and D-line play.

Overreaction? No.

After Week 1 of the regular season -- and based solely on Week 1 performances -- everyone should have the 49ers as the fourth-most impressive team in the division.

There is a lot of time for things to change, and it will all sort itself out when these teams starting playing each other. But this season, even the last-place team in the division figures to be in the thick of the playoff race in December.

RELATED: Shanahan assesses Ryans' first game as defensive coordinator

The NFC West might be better than ever. The division is stacked.

The Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks all looked impressive in their victories. The 49ers looked very good for 3 1/2 quarters before almost falling to pieces.

Therefore, based on that near-epic-collapse, you are totally within your rights to list the 49ers as the NFC West’s No. 4 team in your Week 2 power rankings.

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