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49ers rookie Renardo Green embracing every challenge; Darrell Luter Jr. impressing

Jun 5, 2024 at 2:24 PM

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Rookie cornerback Renardo Green is diligently working to impress his San Francisco 49ers coaches. The second-round draft pick is making plays on the practice field, lining up wherever needed, and absorbing as much knowledge as possible from teammates and coaches as he transitions from the college game to the pro level.

Defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen, speaking to reporters after today's practice, shared that he has been "really happy" with Green's progress.

"The cool thing is he's moving [around]," Sorensen said. "You know, he's been doing both nickel and corner, and it's not a lot of time. It's a certain amount of practices, and he hasn't fully been a nickel. So he's really embraced the challenge of it. That's the best part."

The nickel position isn't entirely new to Green, who lined up in the slot 118 times with Florida State in 2020 and 61 times in 2021.

"For two years, I played in the slot position," Green said after being drafted. "That was in the 2020 and 2021 season. And at FSU, at one point, we had a joker package where we'd go three high safeties, and then one of the safeties would drop and become a nickel, and that was me. We ran it in 2020, so I got some experience playing in that slot, actually."

Sorensen acknowledges that it's unrealistic to expect perfection from Green at this early stage in his career. An NFL playbook is a lot for any young player to absorb.

"It's never perfect because now, all of a sudden, we're teaching you all these different coverages, but there's also run fits, too," Sorensen explained. "... But just with him, it's just the mentality and the competitiveness that I love. We knew the movement skill was there, and you see it in man-to-man stuff, and he gets those, too. But he's embraced any challenge.

"Anything that's hard, I think he's embraced, and he's kind of attacked it, and willingly been like, 'No, man, I want more of that.' And that's really been awesome."

Darrell Luter Jr. impressing

Sorensen and the 49ers coaches were eager to see if then-rookie Darrell Luter Jr. could carve out a role for himself last season. Unfortunately, he started the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to a knee injury and never made the impact many had hoped.

Luter looks to make the most of his sophomore NFL season, reportedly making plays on the practice field this offseason.

"Again, right when you see him, stout, built a lot like Mooney (CB Charvarius Ward)," Sorensen said. "He's big, he's got length, and he's learning to use that. I think with him, it stunk because we were excited for him really quick last year, when he got here, and then got injured pretty quickly. And then, when he came back, it was mid-season or later in the season, and then saw some flashes."

The 49ers wrapped up their mandatory minicamp today. Players will disperse for the next 40 days or so, reporting back to the team for training camp next month.

Sorensen is eager to see how Luter utilizes his time off, saying, "So it's about growth. And again, he's a competitive guy. He's really smart. He's a guy that really, really, really cares. So seeing him progress and utilize his size and his length, and then his brain and how he sees things, he's progressed the right way. And just can't wait to see him when he comes back after these 40 days."

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