The 49ers drafted yet another player coming off an ACL tear, this one a corner from Mississippi State.
The selection was definitely a need for the 49ers who had one of the worst secondaries last season. Will Redmond was the 49ers only pick on the second day of the draft after trading back into the first Thursday.
Redmond is a quick and fast cornerback with great man cover skills. The reason he’s fallen so low is that he suffered an ACL tear in October and hasn’t played the corner position that long. Redmond only started seven games throughout his whole career at Mississippi State.
He suffered his season-ending injury in practice in one-on-one drills during Mississippi State’s Kentucky week.
“It was a one-on-one in practice. It’s a bad deal. First thing I thought about was I got to get back right, because I love playing football and I love doing it everyday.”
The 49ers are confident in Redmond’s health having him for a visit in Santa Clara and going to see him at the NFL Combine’s re-check. General manager Trent Baalke thinks he’d be ready by training camp.
“He’s on schedule to slightly ahead of schedule. We’ve had a lot of contact with this young man. We know who’s done the surgery, we know where he’s rehabbing and who’s rehabbing him. We brought him in for one of the 30 visits. We were just back in Indianapolis before the draft for the re-check. We’re very comfortable for where he’s at and very comfortable he’d be ready to go come training camp.”
Redmond’s highest trait is definitely his athleticism and speed. If he was healthy to compete at the combine Redmond believes he’d run a sub 4.3 40-yard dash.
Still, an ACL tear so late in the season is a red flag no matter the lens. Redmond is rehabbing and is itching to get back onto the field.
“I’m just trying to get there work hard, get with the trainers and get back healthy. Get ready to play and do my best for the 49ers. I haven’t talked to any trainers. When I get up there I’ll just take all of the advice they give me and keep working. And they’re going to let me know.”
Baalke see’s Redmond as a versatile cornerback who can play outside or inside.
“You start with the nickel stuff. He’s a young man who can play inside or outside, but like I always say that’s for the coaches to decide. He’s an explosive athlete, he can run, he can jump he can play the ball. He fits into what we’re looking for from a character standpoint. A young man who came here on his visit and impressed everyone.”
Versatility in the secondary is something the 49ers covet. Safety Eric Reid can play either safety spot, Jimmy Ward can play in nickel packages and dime packages. Redmond thinks that’s one of his biggest assets in his game as well, versatility and athleticism.
“I’m an explosive guy, fast. I always want to make plays.”
The Redmond pick adds depth to a secondary in need of help. The 49ers hope that he can turn into a true number one corner that every team needs. The 49ers missed out on prized free agent cornerback Josh Norman who went to Washington.
Redmond was thrilled to go to San Francisco and enjoyed his visit. He thinks it’s the key to him getting drafted.
“I think I impressed them. I liked the program, I liked everything about it.”
When asked on whether he will play this season Redmond exclaimed
“Oh yes sir!”
The 49ers start day three with the 133rd pick barring a trade, and have eight picks left.