A lot was made of former NFL safety Donte Whitner critiquing San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon a few weeks back.

"Whitner even used a telestrator and slow motion just to show just how worthless Witherspoon is at his profession," wrote 49ers beat writer Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat, who put a spotlight on Whitner's Instagram posts.

While Whitner was critical of Witherspoon, it doesn't mean he believes the second-year cornerback can't excel in the NFL. He certainly doesn't view him as "worthless." The opposite is actually true, according to Whitner, who joined KNBR earlier this week.

"If you watch him, athletically, he can do everything," Whitner said of Witherspoon on the "Gary & Larry" show. "He can run, he can change direction, he can bend. There's not too many guys that are six-feet-plus that can do the things that he did."

Witherspoon's game certainly isn't perfect by a long shot. Whitner made that clear from his Instagram breakdowns, which we recommend looking at if you haven't already. Witherspoon's Pro Football Focus grade of 44.6 is a significant dropoff from last year's 74.5 number.

Whitner identified one glaring flaw in the second-year cornerback's game.

"The only thing that I get on him about is he's not locked in each and every play," Whitner continued. "He takes plays off. You can't take a play off. Even if you think the ball is not coming to you, you have to play it like the ball is coming to you and that's what the great corners in the National Football League do. They have one focus when they step on the football field, and their job is, 'I'm going to lock you down.'

"A lot of times I don't see that from him. I don't see a physicality from him. You have to be physical in this league, especially when you're 6-3."

What is Witherspoon's potential ceiling in the NFL?

"If he continues to grow and he continues to focus on the fundamentals, he can be a Pro Bowl, All-Pro cornerback," Whitner added.

You can listen to the entire KNBR interview with Whitner below.


H/t to Eric Crocker of Fourth and Nine who pointed us to Whitner's comments on the latest No Huddle Podcast, which you can listen to below.