Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Barrows calls Marshon Lattimore a ‘risky’ 49ers pick

Apr 17, 2017 at 3:48 PM--

Two weeks ago, Pro Football Focus listed cornerback as one of the San Francisco 49ers' top three needs heading into the 2017 NFL Draft. The ranking, which also listed the offensive line, drew some criticism from fans because of the omission of what many felt were much bigger needs, including pass rusher or edge defenders.

The article by Zoltán Buday listed Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore as a potential early-round target should the 49ers choose to address the position in day one of the draft. Lattimore is widely viewed as the top cornerback available in the draft.

One 49ers beat writer who is not a big fan of selecting Lattimore with the second overall pick is Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. On Monday, Taylor Price of the Taylor Price Talk podcast asked Barrows who he felt was the one player who would not be a good fit for the 49ers and is overhyped at this point. Barrows identified Lattimore as that player, calling the potential selection "risky."

"I don't want to call this guy a bust but I think it would be risky and that's the Ohio State cornerback Lattimore, just because he's had all sorts of injury issues," Barrows said. "I think they're hamstring issues. He's only really had one really good season and he was part of a secondary that had a lot of great help – Malik Hooker being chief among them. The other cornerback was really good and probably will be drafted in the first or second round as well.

"And then the fact that the 49ers don't have a superstar at cornerback but they're still fairly deep, even without Tramaine Brock. With Jimmie Ward presumably playing cornerback, you still have Rashard Robinson. You've got Will Redmond. You've got Keith Reaser. You've got the new guy they brought in – K'Waun Williams. You've got Dontae Johnson, who may be a really nice fit, sort of overlooked by the previous coaching regimes, but definitely has the body type and the smarts that you're looking for in the type of defense that the 49ers are playing.

"So, I don't think that the urgency is there for a cornerback. If they think that Marshon Lattimore is lights out the best thing that they've seen at that position since Deion Sanders, by all means, take him. But it just doesn't seem like it's the perfect fit for 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. As mentioned by Barrows, 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.

"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."

"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 Charlie 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."


Height: 6-0
Weight: 193 lbs.
Arm length: 31 1/4 inches
Hand length: 8 7/8 inches

NFL Scouting Combine

40-time: 4.36 seconds
Vertical: 38.5 inches
Broad jump: 132 inches

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