49ers position-by-position breakdown: Cornerbacks

49ers position-by-position breakdown: Cornerbacks
July 22, 2013, 7:15 am
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Nnamdi Asomugha signed a one-year deal with the 49ers following two disappointing seasons with the Eagles. (AP)  

Editor's note: Insider Matt Maiocco will be providing position-by-position breakdowns each day leading up to 49ers training camp. The rookies reported Friday, with the veterans scheduled to follow on Wednesday. Today, Matt focuses on the cornerbacks.

Who they have: Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Chris Culliver, Nnamdi Asomugha, Eric Wright, Tramaine Brock, Perrish Cox, Marcus Cooper, Darryl Morris

Who they lost: None

Looking back: The 49ers carried five cornerbacks on their roster the entire season. Rogers and Brown made every start, and Culliver played 63.2 percent of all defensive snaps as the No. 3 corner. During the regular season, this unit was outstanding. The 49ers ranked fourth in the league, allowing just 202.2 yards passing per game with an opponent passer rating of 78.0. The 49ers were the only team in the NFL that did not allow a touchdown pass of more than 40 yards. However, the pass defense in the playoffs quickly became a liability. The 49ers surrendered 306 yards passing in with an opponent passer rating of 109.5 in three postseason games. They gave up eight touchdowns, including strikes of 46 yards (Julius Jones) against Atlanta in the NFC Championship game and 56 yards (Jacoby Jones) in the Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

[RELATED: Carlos Rogers career stats | 2012 game logs | Tarell Brown career stats | 2012 game logs]

Overall outlook: All five cornerbacks return, and the 49ers made a couple of no-risk moves to bring in veterans who are coming off poor seasons to see if they still have anything to offer. Asomugha signed a one-year deal with the 49ers after the Philadelphia Eagles released him after two disappointing seasons. Wright was acquired last week for a conditional late-round draft pick after the 49ers lost the bidding war to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to attract him as a free agent a year ago. (UPDATE: The 49ers reported Monday that Wright failed his physical, which nullifies the trade. Wright reverted back to the Buccaneers, who then released him.) Brown, 28, is coming off his best season. He enters his contract year as perhaps the best bet to win a starting job. Rogers was outstanding in 2011 to earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl, as well as a new contract. But his play slipped last season. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said a month ago he still considers Rogers his top cover man in the slot. Culliver showed a lot of promise in the regular season, but he'll try to bounce back from a disastrous Super Bowl week.

Camp competition: Everywhere you look among this group, there is competition. The competition is for the starting jobs, as well as the third and fourth cornerback roles. Such players as Rogers (with a scheduled $5.5 million salary), Asomugha and Wright could end up as starters or just as easily find themselves on the transaction wire at the end of camp -- depending on how they fare in training camp. Culliver is the only player with a contact situation that seems to ensure he'll be with the team a year from now. Cooper, a seventh-round draft pick, and Morris are likely battling for a spot on the practice squad.

In-line photos of Carlos Rogers (top) and Eric Wright (bottom) provided by the Associated Press

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