Chris Culliver: San Francisco 49ers' Newest Cornerback and Third-Round Steal

Ryan The BrokerAnalyst IAugust 28, 2011

Out of all the rookies on the 49ers, third-round cornerback from South Carolina, Chris Culliver, looks to possibly make the biggest impact for San Francisco.

Although first-rounder Aldon Smith looks like a promising outside linebacker, he is very young and raw. He will most likely have a situational role until he can improve in pass coverage. 

Colin Kaepernick is a tremendous talent and a steal in the second round, and Bruce Miller seems to have all but sealed the fullback position. Fourth round pick Kendall Hunter looks like he will be a big play maker for the 49ers as well. But surprisingly, it's the third-rounder who has been the standout thus far.

Here is what I wrote up on Culliver in May:

San Francisco 49ers: The Rookies, Complete 2011 Draft Summary

Chris is also a tremendous kick returner who exceeded at South Carolina doing just that. Niners could use someone that could compete, replace, or at least fire Ginn up.

Baalke and Harbaugh drafted Chris Culliver because they thought he would help out with special teams, but more importantly, help out a struggling 49er defensive back unit. They must believe he has the ability to make an immediate impact, or they would not have drafted him so high.

Looks like Baalke was right. Culliver has done very well on special teams, but more importantly for the 49ers, he has really stepped up at corner. Culliver demonstrated excellent pass coverage against the Texans and continued to lead the team in the preseason as a strong tackler.

Look for Culliver to have a strong rookie season and make an immediate impact in San Francisco.

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