Editor's note: NBC Sports Bay Area will preview the NFL Draft with a look at the 49ers’ top needs, profiles of prospects who might fit their needs and some hidden gems. In this installment, we look at which under-the-radar cornerbacks the 49ers could target on Day 3.
All of the 49ers’ top cornerbacks are scheduled to enter the final year of their contracts.
Because the 49ers have not invested much draft capital in strengthening their group of cover men, this could be the year the organization goes after some top, young talent.
With only two scheduled picks within the first 155 picks, the 49ers might find themselves in a position of mining for prospects on Day 3.
Here are three players who fit the profile of what the 49ers could be targeting in young players to come in and learn from veteran Richard Sherman, who has a reputation as one of the best mentors in the game.
Reggie Robinson, Tulsa
Reggie Robinson (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) looks the part. In addition to some impressive measurables, Robinson also plays with contact courage. He is a big-hitter who also made a lot of plays as a senior with a team-leading four interceptions.
Robinson fits best in a zone scheme, which the 49ers regularly feature. And he could develop his skills while learning the intricacies of the NFL game from Sherman.
Even if Robinson is not ready to step in as an immediate starter, he figures to be a core special-teams player from the beginning of his NFL career with his size, aggressiveness and 4.44 speed in the 40-yard dash.
Michael ‘O.J.’ Ojemudia, Iowa
Michael Ojemudia (6-1, 200 pounds) has the size and skills to fit into the 49ers’ defense, which predominantly is a cover-3 scheme.
Ojemudia has the desired length to play the outside zone. He got better throughout his career at making plays on the ball, as he registered three interceptions in each of his final two college seasons.
The 49ers would have some flexibility with Ojemudia, whose 4.45 speed and physicality should make him an immediate impact player on special teams. Also, if Ojemudia is not able to cut it at cornerback, the club would have an option to give him a look at safety.
Madre Harper, Southern Illinois
Madre Harper (6-2, 196 pounds) is an intriguing small-school prospect due to his size, athleticism and untapped potential. His wingspan of 78 3/8 inches is ridiculous for a defensive back.
Harper was dismissed from the team at Oklahoma State in September 2017 due to a violation of team rules, so he comes with some risks. But, by all accounts, he emerged into a team leader at Southern Illinois.