49ers Select Tariq Castro-Fields at 221

The 49ers closed out the sixth round by selecting Penn State DB Tariq Castro-Fields with pick 221

Overview

Perimeter cornerback with appealing size and traits for press-man, but confidence and consistency were missing from his 2021 tape. Castro-Fields’ length, strength and athleticism are likely to be viewed as moldable features by defensive back coaches. However, he is missing the desired stickiness to the route and lacks spatial awareness and ball-hawking instincts from zone. His run support commitment is a bit disappointing relative to his size. Castro-Fields possesses the tools and versatility to operate as a backup in a variety of coverage schemes and is a middle-round value with upside traits.

Strengths

  • Big, long and can run.
  • Praised by staff for football intelligence and communication.
  • Traits provide decent scheme versatility.
  • Pedal is smooth and fluid.
  • Able to plant and drive quickly at the top of the drop.
  • Climbs the ladder to defend the jump ball.
  • Effective use of length when he’s in the vicinity.
  • Willing to search for the football while in phase.
  • Attacks and dislodges from blockers on the flank.

Weaknesses

  • Impatient leaner rather than slider to match release.
  • Lacks stickiness to the route at break points.
  • Spatial awareness from zone is average.
  • Clunky stop-start when phasing the route.
  • Badly beaten by double moves against Illinois and Indiana.
  • Loses leverage in pursuit to tackle.
  • Needs to become a more aggressive, face-up tackler.
  • Missed six games in 2020 due to injury.

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