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Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: Isaac Yiadom emerging as reliable CB option for 49ers

Jun 24, 2024 at 9:28 AM

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Isaac Yiadom may turn out to be one of the San Francisco 49ers' most underrated offseason additions. The veteran cornerback had a career year with the New Orleans Saints last season, earning an 81.1 defensive grade from Pro Football Focus, his highest-ever mark from the analytics site. That grade would have ranked second among all 49ers cornerbacks last season, with only Charvarius Ward's 82.6 mark surpassing it.

Opposing quarterbacks completed only 50 percent of their throws while targeting Yiadom, who held them to an 84.4 passer rating. The 49ers hope the cornerback can build on those marks in 2024.

ESPN's Nick Wagoner named Yiadom the 49ers player who surprised him the most during the team's minicamp earlier this month.

"The 49ers signed Yiadom in March to bolster the competition for the No. 3 cornerback job behind starters Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir," Wagoner shared. "After signing Yiadom, general manager John Lynch noted that the corner reminded him of himself a bit in that it took some time to get his feet under him but once he did, things began to click."

At the NFL owners meetings in March, Lynch explained the thinking behind the Yiadom signing, sharing that his 2023 campaign caught the 49ers' attention.

"Yiadom, can't have enough good corners and thought he had a career year," Lynch stated. "Isaac, I just asked him, 'What clicked?' Because he's been a very good, productive special teams player. It's never really happened for him on defense as consistently as it did last year. And he talked about something familiar to me in my career because I didn't become a full time starter until year three. Kind of just a mindset. Stop doubting yourself, and let's go.

"And he was able to find that last year and have that belief in it, and it really flourished. So, our guys did a great job of identifying him. We became really intrigued with bringing him into our building. And like I said, you just can't have enough guys there."

Wagoner believes Yiadom has made enough of an impression during the 49ers' offseason program to secure a vital role on defense.

"Yiadom impressed enough in the spring that he seems to have the early inside track on being the first corner on the field when the Niners need more than their top two," Wagoner noted.
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