The 49ers addressed their lack of cornerback depth in the draft this season, they just don’t have much to show for it so far.
Exhibit A is Ambry Thomas, the third-round pick out of Michigan who has played a grand total of nine snaps in 2021. Thomas’ lack of ability to get on the field has forced the 49ers to look to reinforcements (Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick) and another rookie, sixth-round pick Deommodore Lenior to play after they lost Jason Verrett for the season.
So what’s going on? John Lynch explained the situation to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports, saying that Thomas is behind the eight ball because he didn’t play football last year, opting out due to COVID-19 concerns.
“He’d been away from football for a year,” Lynch told Maiocco. “There’s some strength development that we knew had to take place. That’s happening. He’s working incredibly hard. We have a good plan for him.”
“I’m sure it’s hard for people to see, but we’re very encouraged with what we’re seeing out of Ambry,” Lynch said. “He wasn’t quite ready at the start of the year. We’re hopeful that at some point this year, he’s going to come and really help us, and we really are believers that in the future he’ll be an important piece of what we’re doing.”
Lynch said he believes that Thomas could work his way into significant playing time at some point this season. Until that happens, questions will continue to be asked, especially considering the 49ers’ second-round pick, guard Aaron Banks, hasn’t played a single snap.