Niners' options after losing starting CB Harris

May, 20, 2009
Posted by's Mike Sando
Projected Starting CB Team Ht. Wt.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ARI 6-2 184
Bryant McFadden
ARI 6-0 190
Tye Hill
STL 5-10 185
Ronald Bartell
STL 6-1 200
Nate Clements
SF 6-0 205
Tarell Brown
SF 5-10 193
Marcus Trufant
SEA 5-11 197
Ken Lucas
6-0 205

The 49ers did not move aggressively this offseason to find a successor for 34-year-old cornerback Walt Harris.

Perhaps they would have if they could have known Harris would suffer a likely season-ending and career-threatening knee injury during May camps.

Tarell Brown, a fifth-round choice in 2007, probably becomes the starter. We'll see whether the 49ers follow through with plans to convert 2008 third-round choice Reggie Smith from cornerback to safety. That move might qualify as a luxury in light of Harris' injury. Perhaps Shawntae Spencer can bounce back from his own ACL surgery to win the job.

The chart shows projected starting cornerbacks in the division. Seattle's decision to sign Ken Lucas worked out well from a timing standpoint.

Several corners remain available, including Rod Hood, Chris McAlister, Terry Cousin, Kenny Wright, Pacman Jones, Dre' Bly, Travis Fisher, Brian Kelly, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, David Barrett, Deltha O'Neal, Jason Craft, Fakhir Brown, Ty Law, Ricky Manning, Reynaldo Hill, R.W. McQuarters, Jamar Fletcher and Aaron Glenn.

McAlister knows 49ers coach Mike Singletary from their days together in Baltimore. Hood, cut by the Cardinals, is probably as good as Harris at this point. Signing with the 49ers would let him match up against his old team, daunting as the challenge might be.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?