Here is the final installment of the 49ers offseason position series with a look at the cornerbacks:
Pending Free agents: Eric Wright, Tarell Brown, Perrish Cox (restricted)
Season Review: Tramaine Brock proved to be a great story when he took over Nnamdi Asomugha initially as the nickel CB in Week 4 before he put himself on the map in Week 5 against the Houston Texans were he had two interceptions. Before the 2013 season began, he was only seen on special teams with a handful of snaps on defense. The 49ers rewarded him CB with a four-year extension last November. Brock should be the No.1 cornerback on the team for years to come.
Carlos Rogers had an up and down season, but it was disappointing when the second half came around. Unless Rogers takes a large pay cut, he is expected to be a cap casualty with more than an $8 million cap hit in 2014. The depth behind Brock becomes a small question mark.
Tarell Brown should test the open market as his contract is up and he will be an unrestricted free agent. It is doubtful that the 49ers will want him back at a reasonable price.
Chris Culliver would be penciled in as the starting cornerback on the opposite side of Brock heading into 2014. For his third NFL season, Culliver suffered a torn ACL after running warm-up sprints in training camp.
It won't be hard for the 49ers to re-sign Eric Wright or Perrish Cox with the latter being a restricted free agent. Wright played adequately in his short time as he was inactive for most of the year. He served on dime defense with a few snaps as the nickel CB.
Cox was mostly a special teams player before being released in November and later signing with the team as the playoffs started. In the postseason, Cox did a great job against the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers preventing any deep plays.
Undrafted rookie Darryl Morris was an unsung hero on special teams as his speed became useful on coverage units. He also contributed a hard hit on a touchdown by Kassim Osgood versus the Tennessee Titans.
Forecast: While the 49ers have two homegrown CBs in place, I expect the 49ers to take a CB in first or second round as there is too much uncertainty behind Tramaine Brock on the depth chart. Culliver will be returning from an ACL injury while everyone else doesn't have the experience in Vic Fangio's system. There should be at least one small free agent signing to go with a high draft pick at the cornerback position in 2014.
The 49ers could also take a late-round CB who has the size and raw talent. Teams in the NFL want the large and physical cornerbacks to counter the huge wide receivers and even tight ends in the NFL today. In 2013, the 49ers drafted Marcus Cooper in the seventh-round, who was 6-2, 190 pounds. While he didn't impress in training camp to make the 53-man roster, the Kansas City Chiefs signed him after the teams made their cuts. Cooper turned out to be a promising CB as he played in all 17 games for Kansas City (including one in the postseason). An early name who could fit this bill is Pierre Desir, from Lindenwood.
49ers Position Series: