With the fifth selection of the third round (68th overall), the San Francisco 49ers selected Mississippi State CB Will Redmond. It was a selection that caused some controversy among the media and fans alike. Redmond suffered an ACL injury during practice on October 22, continuing the trend by 49ers general manager Trent Baalke of drafting injured players. However, Redmond may be a little different. Baalke believes that the cornerback will be ready for training camp when it begins in late July. Redmond feels the same way. "I expect to play in 2016," said Redmond while speaking to the media following being selected.
Redmond, who Baalke envisions as a nickel back for the 49ers, stated that his medical recheck in Indianapolis went well. He had 94 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, five interceptions, and eight passes defended during his college career at Mississippi State. During his junior year in 2014, his last full season, Redmond had 51 tackles with three for a loss, three interceptions, and five passes defended.
What did the "draft experts" think about the selection of Redmond? Here are just a few of the selection grades – in no particular order. Redmond was the 49ers' lone day two selection.
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Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus
Redmond is a solid zone defender that can read the quarterback's eyes, but that also gets him into trouble at times with double moves. His +1.3 coverage grade ranked 56th in the class, but he's yet another 6-foot corner that will get a chance to develop.
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated
This all comes down to the status of Redmond's knee, which he injured in 2015. Assuming he gets all the way to 100% in the near future, he has the instincts and quickness to be a playmaking slot corner, if not a versatile man/zone defender on the outside.
Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com
You know what's funny? Will Redmond would've made more sense as a trade-up target than Joshua Garnett at No. 28. Redmond is a skilled corner, but dropped because of an injury. Cornerback wasn't a huge position of need for San Francisco, but the range is at least right, as Redmond probably would've been a second-round pick had he not sustained a torn ACL.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports
There were better options out there. This kid is coming off an ACL injury.
Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report
Will Redmond missed his freshman year because of an NCAA "gotcha." He worked his way into the starting lineup by his senior season, only to tear an ACL in an October practice. He has all the tools but is a little bit of a black box; it's hard to project a player with limited starting experience and a recent major injury into the NFL. Betcha Chip Kelly has found a way.
Tom Downey of Chat Sports
This is the right range for Redmond, who could have gone much higher if not for injury. It also fills a big need.
Dan Kadar of SB Nation
After trading back into the first round, the 49ers had to wait all the way until the No. 68 overall pick to take cornerback Will Redmond. If he can stay healthy, Redmond is the starting cornerback the 49ers needed to find in this draft. Redmond isn't a great tackler, but he can make plays.
Jared Mueller of Scout.com
A quality corner with injury issues. Plays physical and has speed to burn. The Niners have had some struggles in the secondary and get a good one here.