49ers hold formal interview with potential first-round cornerback - Sport News

49ers hold formal interview with potential first-round cornerback

The San Francisco 49ers have two impressive starting cornerbacks in Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir, and they appear to have an interest in adding one of the top draft prospects at the position.

49ers hold formal interview with potential first-round cornerback

San Francisco, per Brad Graham of TheSFNiners.com, held a formal meeting with Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry.

McKinstry is considered to be a first-round prospect, and may not last until the 49ers pick at 31st overall.

During his career with Alabama, McKinstry developed a reputation as an extremely stingy corner effective in both man and zone coverage. Per Pro Football Focus, McKinstry allowed a completion percentage of just 48.7 percent in 2023, having given up a catch on just 46.2 percent of his targets in 2022.

He played almost entirely as an outside corner throughout his college career, meaning that, if the 49ers were to get themselves in a position to select him, McKinstry’s arrival would likely see Deommodore Lenoir move inside to nickel full-time.

Lenoir spent much of the 2023 season playing in the slot on nickel downs as Isaiah Oliver, signed to be the 49ers’ starter in that role, endured significant struggles. Ambry Thomas started on the outside along with Ward on nickel downs when Lenoir kicked inside.

Oliver was this month released by the Niners, while Thomas was essentially benched for the Super Bowl 58 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs after struggling in the first two playoff games. Logan Ryan started at nickel in that overtime loss.

As such, it would make sense that the 49ers would look at slot corners in the draft. Their interest in McKinstry suggests they might go a different route and put their faith in Lenoir to make the slot is full-time home.

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