Amani Oruwariye

2019 Senior Bowl: Cornerbacks have distinct look of 49ers, Seahawks fit


2019 Senior Bowl: Cornerbacks have distinct look of 49ers, Seahawks fit

Jim Nagy, whose job as executive director of the Senior Bowl is to piece together the lineup of invited participants, arranged for a group of familiar-looking cornerbacks.

Nagy worked for the Seattle Seahawks for five seasons as a Southeast region scout. The Seahawks’ prototype for cornerbacks is the same the 49ers have adopted under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme.

Richard Sherman is the prototype. The Seahawks and 49ers look for tall, physical corners to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt timing in the passing game.

“A lot of people in the league probably look at this roster and say, ‘Man, Jim is looking for the same thing he did in Seattle.’ There are a bunch of big, long guys in this group,” Nagy said. “The league is going that way as a whole just because of the success that Seattle’s had.

“There are a slew of guys coming down here who are perfect fits for the Niners.”

The 49ers invested third-round picks the past two years in Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore. Promoting more competition and increasing depth is a priority this offseason.

Here’s a look at some of the top prospects for the 49ers’ scheme at the Senior Bowl:

Lonnie Johnson Jr., Kentucky, 6-3, 206
With his size and athleticism, Johnson fits the model of what teams that play the cover-3 system are coveting. However, he recorded just one interception in his two seasons at Kentucky.
Projected: Early rounds

Rock Ya-Sin, Temple, 6-2, 190
Played completely under the radar during his three seasons at Presbyterian College before a transfer to Temple for his final season. He is relatively new to the sport but he has the smarts and skill to rise up draft boards.
Projected: Mid rounds

Isaiah Johnson, Houston, 6-4, 203
He’s got the attributes with his height and 33-inch arms. Nagy said he expects him to run in the low-4.4s. If he can stick with wideouts during the one-on-ones, he will help himself tremendously.
Projected: Mid rounds

Mark Fields, Clemson, 5-11. 180
When the Senior Bowl was looking to add a cornerback this week, the 49ers were consulted. This is the guy they wanted to be added to the group.
Projected: Late rounds

North cornerbacks

Amani Oruwariye, Penn State, 6-1, 201
He has the size and movements to be one of the first cornerbacks off the board. He also has the ball skills, as he showed with seven interceptions over the past two seasons. He will be rested this week in man coverage.
Projected: Early rounds

Kris Boyd, Texas, 6-0, 195
He is smart and experienced. He has the toughness in run support, too. The big question is whether he has the top-flight speed to keep plays in front of him.
Projected: Early rounds

Citrus Bowl: Why 49ers, Raiders fans should watch Kentucky vs. Penn State


Citrus Bowl: Why 49ers, Raiders fans should watch Kentucky vs. Penn State

The end of the 2018 regular season means it's time for playoff football. Well, not for the 49ers and Raiders. For the Bay Area, it's NFL draft season.

When Kentucky takes the field Tuesday against Penn State, one player could be an option for either the 49ers or Raiders with their top pick. Plus, there's two others the Bay Area should pay attention to in the Citrus Bowl. 

Josh Allen, OLB/DE, Kentucky 

Will Allen be the 49ers' selection with the No. 2 pick in the draft? He very well could be. But if he falls to No. 4, the Raiders could jump at the chance of adding him. 

Allen is the exact kind of prospect both teams badly need. And they'll both get an front-row view of him at the Senior Bowl

The All-American has 21 sacks over the last two years and 29 tackles for loss in that span. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has him going to the 49ers in his post-regular season mock draft, saying the 6-foot-5, 260-pounder is "the next best move (after Nick Bosa) for a team desperate to add a pass rush."

Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State

The 49ers should hope Oruwariye falls to the second round. They finished the regular season last in the NFL with only two interceptions and need to add to their cornerback depth with too many question marks. 

Oruwariye has great size for the position at 6-1 and 203 pounds, and as The Draft Network points out, he "anticipates route breaks and combinations at a high level." 

Over the last two seasons, Oruwariye has seven interceptions and 18 passes defensed. While he isn't seen as a No. 1 need, the rangy corner is actually predicted to go to the Raiders with the team's third pick in the first round, according to CBS Sports' latest mock draft

Here’s how 49ers and Raiders fans can watch Kentucky play Penn State in the Citrus Bowl:

When: Tuesday, Jan. 1, at 10 a.m. PT
TV Channel: ABC
Live Stream: ABC Go App