How 49ers rookie CB Green impressed Sorensen in the secondary

How 49ers rookie CB Green impressed Sorensen in the secondary originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Every coach is happy when his newcomers get off to a good start.

For Nick Sorenson, the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, this is the reality with cornerback Renardo Green.

Sorenson discussed the Florida State graduate's recent shine in the San Francisco secondary with reporters on Wednesday.

“I'm really happy with Renardo,” Sorenson said. “The cool thing is he's played both nickel and cornerback and that's not a lot of time, right? It's a certain amount of training and [he] wasn't quite a nickel. So he really took on the challenge. That's the best part.

“It's never perfect because now all of a sudden we're teaching you all these different coverages, but there's also running passes, and then it changes. And you know what? You can't fully trigger and feel the physicality of the line because there are rules and guys don't play the same. But with him, it's just the mentality and the competition that I love.”

The 49ers liked Green's versatility in the draft.

His ability to compete in press coverage against some of college football's best players – including LSU's two top-10 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, Jayden Daniels (Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback) and Malik Nabers (wide receiver) – while being more than comfortable at the nickelback and safety positions, lured general manager John Lynch with pick No. 64.

San Francisco also had too little to offer in the secondary in the 2023 NFL season, with Deommodore Lenoir and Isiah Oliver sharing most of the nickel duties and the 49ers lacking an everyday option. Green helps here immediately.

Most importantly, the 23-year-old doesn't shy away from a challenge, which earns him playing rights even on an All-Star team like the 49ers.

“We knew he had the mobility, and you can see that in man-to-man situations, and he can do that,” Sorenson added. “But he's taken on any challenge that's difficult. I think he's taken it and kind of tackled it and willingly said, 'No, man, I want more of this.' And that's been really great.”

Green finished his college career with 148 total tackles, 22 passes defensed, and a crucial interception on a pass from Daniels against LSU.

Sorenson, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan certainly expect Green to flourish on the field next season.

And the newcomer seems to be on the right track.

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