Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Ward on 49ers rookie Deommodore Lenoir: ‘He’s going to be a great player in this league’

Oct 7, 2021 at 9:26 AM--

Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir may end up being one of the best value picks from the San Francisco 49ers' most recent draft class. He was a fifth-round draft pick, and the Niners tend to find gold in that round.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw was a fifth-round draft pick in 2019. D.J. Reed may not be on the team anymore but is proving to be a good player for the Seattle Seahawks. He was a 49ers fifth-round pick in 2018. In 2017, San Francisco drafted some little-known tight end out of Iowa named George Kittle. He's not bad either.

Could Lenoir be the team's next fifth-round gem?

The rookie's teammate, safety Jimmie Ward, joined 95.7 The Game on Wednesday. The discussion eventually led to Lenoir and the young defensive back's early dividends.

The veteran defender calls Lenoir "a beast" on the football field. Ward remembers speaking to Lenoir on the sidelines after a bad play by the rookie, thinking he needed to say something to build up the 22-year-old cornerback.

"I don't even think I needed to give him the speech," Ward admitted on the Damon, Ratto & Kolsky show. "He doesn't talk much at all, but I was just telling him, 'Hey, bro, don't let one play change how you're playing right now. Keep playing aggressive. Keep playing your type of ball.' He just nodded his head and smiled."

Richard Sherman used to say that you need a short memory to play cornerback in the NFL. You have to quickly look past your mistakes — or even your great plays — and move on to the next play. It sounds like Lenoir already has that mentality.

"He didn't overthink it. He didn't overtalk. He doesn't say too much," Ward continued. "He's calm. He has great composure. He's patient at the line. Like, you wouldn't even think he's a rookie. Dude's going to be a great player in this league. I know great ballplayers when I see it, and [Lenoir], he's going to be a great player in this league."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Ward below.

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