Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports



Tramaine Brock was the San Francisco 49ers' highest graded defensive back in 2016 according to Pro Football Focus. He was released by the team following his arrest in Santa Clara on a domestic violence charge on Friday. That move leaves the 49ers with a gaping hole at the position.

The 49ers may try to fill that hole via the draft later this month. The team hosted Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore on Wednesday. He is considered to be the best cornerback available in the draft and would certainly help the defense – even more so now.

Also further complicating the issue are reports that 2014 first-round selection, Jimmie Ward, may be transitioning back to safety after moving to cornerback for a year within ex-49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil's defense. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff may rethink that following Brock's release.

While Stanford defense end Solomon Thomas leads mock drafts as the heavy favorite for the 49ers' selection at the number two overall spot, that may change now that cornerback has become an even bigger need. Out of 82 mock drafts that we surveyed, six had Lattimore currently listed as the 49ers' selection. That was enough for fourth place behind Solomon, LSU safety Jamal Adams, and North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

RELATED 49ers release CB Tramaine Brock following arrest

The six mock drafts that had the 49ers selecting Lattimore included mocks by Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus, Emily Kaplan of TheMMQB, and Charlie Campbell of Walter Football. 49ers beat writer Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat also recently mocked Lattimore to the 49ers.

Lattimore has played in 19 games over the past two years with the Buckeyes. During that time, he has 46 tackles, four interceptions, and 12 passes defended. The knock on Lattimore has been his history with hamstring injuries. He redshirted his first year at Ohio State in 2014 and played in only seven games his redshirt freshman year in 2015, due to hamstring injuries. Lattimore was named First Team All-Big Ten in 2016.

Year G Tkl PD Int Yds
2014 RS - - - -
2015 6 5 3 0 0
2016 13 41 9 4 61
Totals 19 46 12 4 61

"His lack of experience could show up early, but he has the confidence and competitive nature that should help him overcome those issues," wrote NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein of Lattimore. "He has the ability to become a Pro Bowl cornerback early in his career."

"He has good size and athleticism, and that coverage versatility led to a passer rating of only 30.2 into his coverage, good for fourth in the nation," wrote Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus.

"Scouting sources raved about how Lattimore looked in fall camp before the 2016 season, and during the year, some team sources said they graded him as a top-16 pick," wrote Campbell of Walter Football. "The 6-foot, 192-pounder has good size to go with athletic ability. As a backup in 2015 during his redshirt freshman season, Lattimore recorded three passes broken up and five tackles."

Last year, the 49ers selected three cornerbacks in the draft. The first was Will Redmond in the third round, who did not play in 2016 following an ACL tear during a Mississippi State practice on October 22, 2015. The team selected Rashard Robinson out of LSU in the fourth round. Robinson showed flashes during limited play last season and could potentially become a long term starter for the team. Lastly, the 49ers selected Prince Charles Iworah out of Western Kentucky in the seventh round. He spent most of 2016 on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster in late December after placing Jimmie Ward on injured reserve.

As for Brock, he left custody on Friday after posting bail. "According to the Santa Clara Police Department, police found 'visible injuries' on Brock's girlfriend after responding to a domestic violence call Thursday at 9:35 p.m," reported Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. The injuries to the woman were described as "minor" and reportedly did not need medical attention.