Tramaine Brock's release leaves 49ers with no obvious answers

Tramaine Brock's release leaves 49ers with no obvious answers

It took the new 49ers regime less than four hours from the time of Tramaine Brock’s reported arrested on a domestic incident on Friday to his release from the team’s roster.

Now, as the 49ers get set to open their official offseason program on Monday in Santa Clara, Brock’s void on the preliminary depth chart stands as the team’s most-obvious hole.

The 49ers had NFL starters at every position. General manager John Lynch said he expected to use the draft to upgrade some spots. But, now, cornerback is a position without an obvious fall-back starter already available.

The offseason began with whispers the 49ers would look to extend Brock’s contract beyond the 2017 season. Now, Brock is gone and there is little proven experience remaining at the position.

Rashard Robinson, a second-year player, has more NFL starts at cornerback than anyone remaining on the 49ers’ roster. Robinson, a fourth-round draft pick last year, started eight of the 13 games in which he appeared as a rookie.

Robinson was the second cornerback that Trent Baalke selected in his final draft as 49ers general manager. In the third round, the 49ers drafted Will Redmond. Despite Baalke’s assertion that Redmond would be ready to play as a rookie, the ACL injury that ended his final season at Mississippi State kept him sideline for the entire season.

Dontae Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2014, started six games in his first three seasons and never seemed to fully gain the confidence of any of the three 49ers coaching staffs for which he played.

Keith Reaser was a fifth-round pick in 2014. After missing his first season as he recovered from multiple ACL surgeries, he appeared in 28 games the past two seasons with no starts.

Newcomer K’Waun Williams had 10 starts with Cleveland in 2014 and ’15 as a nickel back, where he is a better fit than playing on the outside.

The 49ers last week visited with Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who could be an option for the team to select with its first pick in this month’s draft.

The 49ers are scheduled to have the No. 2 overall pick, and cornerback is a position on which they might feel forced to spend an early draft pick.

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to being on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”