49ers Tabbed to Replace CB Jason Verrett With ‘Last Chance U’ Star

Jason Verrett

Getty Jason Verrett on July 31, 2021 in Santa Clara.

There’s still a spot to fill for the San Francisco 49ers that’s open with one former $5.5 million defender no longer there.

With Jason Verrett an available free agent, that leaves the fourth cornerback spot open. Pro Football Network’s newest mock draft now projects the 49ers will address CB through one star from the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U:” Rejzohn Wright of Oregon State, who PFN has going to SF at selection No. 253.

‘Ray’ Rose to Fame as JUCO Standout From the Bay Area, & One Who Had a Long Commute

Fans of the widely popular series likely recall “Ray” from the final football season of 2020, which showcased Laney College in East Oakland.

That was where Wright began to establish himself as a prominent national recruit at the junior college level. But along with dealing with the attention of Power 5 conference coaches and others representing the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) realm, Wright also had a long journey to get there…literally.

Wright had to wake up at 5 a.m. each weekday at his Stockton home, then take the drive through both Interstate 580 then the I-880 to Oakland. Those daily treks combined nearly four hours of driving every day. Still, the sacrifice of not living near the campus for the East Palo Alto native and dealing with the long journey still got him to become a prized national recruit for the Eagles.

Wright went on to become the nation’s No. 5 CB for the JUCO level by 247Sports composite and reeled in offers from Colorado, Fresno State, Hawaii, Central Florida before ultimately settling for Oregon State.

And it was in Corvallis when Wright further cemented his case as a stout CB — earning Pac-12 First Team honors in 2022 while also helping turn the Beavers into a perennial bowl contender.

Wright Could be Long CB 49ers Will Need

When Verrett was on board in S.F., he was envisioned as a tall ballhawk for the 49ers defense. Injuries, however, derailed him with back-to-back ACL tears in 2021 and 2022.

In Verrett’s absence, the 49ers still got high production and the CB spot solidified through Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir during their march to the NFC title game. The Niners, though, are still lacking a fourth option at CB — let alone a towering one with Verrett in free agency.

That’s where Wright can come in if the 49ers pivot to him.

At 6-foot-2, 193-pounds, Wright already has the frame that gives him “premium size and length” as described by nfl.com draft expert Lance Zierlein. Wright, though, has the scheme versatility and hands to establish himself as a future starter — especially one who can come in if someone goes down or if he wins the challenge outright to become a starter.

With the long frame, Wright is capable of channeling an inner wide receiver who can snatch from the sky:

But for teams looking into his coverage ability, he took on projected top 20 pick Jordan Addison of USC…and helped give him one of his worst statistical nights of 2022 with just three catches for 42 yards and one touchdown.

Most recently, he went toe-to-toe with another highly touted 2023 prospect in Jonathan Mingo of Ole Miss. And the battle between Pac-12 and SEC star resulted in a botched catch attempt by Mingo with Wright not losing any ground in coverage:

At the next level, he’ll have to improve his ability to squeeze routes (this catch by Tank Dell of Houston versus him is a prime example) and prevent himself from tugging a jersey at the top of routes. He’s also taken the wrong angles against the run.

It’s a CB heavy group for 2023. And that position qualifies as a need for S.F. But Wright could be worth the day three wait for the 49ers…and become a prized local find. He’ll also join his older brother Nahshon in the league, as the older Wright brother became a surprise third round find for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021.

Wright was also mentioned as one of the possible participants for the 49ers’ local pro day set for Wednesday, April 12 by The Athletic’s Matt Barrows.

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