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Why This 49ers Player Will Be A Top Five Corner In 2022

The 49ers’ secondary needed a significant upgrade from 2021. With one free agent signing, their cornerback room is now one of the best in football.

Introducing New 49ers’ CB1 Charvarius Ward

The 49ers franchise has a long history of great cornerbacks: Jimmy Johnson, Ronnie Lott, Deion Sanders, Eric Davis, and Richard Sherman immediately come to mind. However, over the last two seasons, the cornerback room became thin relying on Josh Norman, Ambry Thomas, and Dre Kirkpatrick in crucial games. In the 2022 NFC Championship game, Rams wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp torched the Niners for 20 catches, 255 yards and two touchdowns. 

Charvarius Ward’s path to the NFL is fascinating. His journey began at Hinds Community College which is located in Raymond, Mississippi in 2014. He led the team with three interceptions and was named to the President’s and Dean’s list. He transferred after his 2015 season to Middle Tennessee State. Ward played two seasons for the Blue Raiders playing in 24 games. Here are his numbers from those two seasons:

  1. 74 total tackles

  2. 3 tackles for loss

  3. 1 sack

  4. 2 interceptions

  5. 13 passes defended

In 2018, Ward signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. In 2019, he solidified his role as a full-time starter playing in all 16 games compiling 74 total tackles, three interceptions and led the team with ten passes defended emerging as their number one corner. In four years at Kansas City, he amassed 222 total tackles, 29 passes defended and four interceptions. 

How good is Charvarius Ward in coverage?

Coming off a Super Bowl win in 2019, Ward elevated his game. Over the last two seasons, he is allowing a 38% completion rate when targeted by NFL quarterbacks, ranking second in the league. This is important because he often travels, covering the opponent’s best wide receiver wherever they line up in formation. 

How Ward Fits In The 49ers’ Defensive Scheme

DeMeco Ryans runs a 4-3, wide-9 press-man scheme with variations of zone coverage which is a perfect fit for Ward’s skill set. With Emmanuel Moseley, Talanoa Hufanga, and Jimmie Ward, the 49ers banded a formidable secondary. Cumulatively they should rank in the top ten in completion percentage against, passing yards, touchdowns against, and turnovers. 

Ward’s elite press-man coverage skills help the 49ers’ defense eliminate one side of the football field. Ryans praised Ward in a recent press conference.

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Why Ward Is CB1 For DeMeco Ryans

The 49ers have an opportunity to line Ward up against the best receiver play in and play out. In this scenario, the other defensive players can focus on their assignments. Ward has never played with a dominant defensive front and always relied on his coverage. Now he can play more aggressively as the 49ers look to create more turnovers.

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While Charvarius may not have a high number of interceptions, he will play “sticky coverage” on number one receivers. His work ethic is unmatched as well. We can expect he also won’t see many targets coming his way, but when quarterbacks do target him, they should be cautious. 

#49ers CB Charvarius Ward getting ready for training camp 💪@itslilmooney || #49ers — 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙎𝙁𝙉𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙨 (@TheSFNiners) June 24, 2022

Charvarius Ward’s story is fascinating and one of the most interesting out there. A community college transfer to an undrafted free agent to CB1 on a Super Bowl-winning team. At only 26 years old, Ward can put another Super Bowl on his resume and continue his amazing journey. In 2022, it’s possible that Ward continues his upward trend by catapulting himself into the upper echelon of elite cornerbacks in the NFL. With an elite supporting cast on defense, Ward could go from undrafted free agent to a top five corner in the league.

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