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49ers Go CB With First Selection
April 21 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
With the 49ers first selection of the 2002 draft, the team selected Miami Hurricane's cornerback Mike Rumph. Rumph was the fourth cornerback selected in the first round, only one pick after Lito Sheppard. Rumph will make the move from the best secondary in the NCAA to a secondary that is quickly becoming one of the best in the NFL.

In landing Mike Rumph, the 49ers were very happy. Rumph, unlike Sheppard is 'character guy'. He plays hard, works hard and has been labeled a coaches dream. Rumph is ready to make the jump to the NFL and is one of the most fundamentally sound corner backs to come out of this years draft. At 6'2" and approximately 200 pounds, Rumph has good size to match his 4.4-4.5 speed.

The 49ers felt they needed to improve their defensive backfield if it was to compete with the Rams and other explosive offenses. With Rumph the 49ers will have three very good cornerback at their disposal. Well many experts predict Rumph will start opposite cornerback Ahmed Plummer, with Jason Webster moving to cornerback, I feel that until Rumph will have to work very hard to take Webster's place. The most likely scenario - at least for the first year would have Rumph in as the nickel back.

Agains three receiver offenses, the 49ers could very likely let Webster take the typical "fast but short guy" and give Plummer and Rumph the bigger stronger type receivers. It's a versatility the 49es have not had at cornerback for an extremely long time. Make no mistake about it though, Rumph will have to work his tail off to compete with the 49ers top two cornerbacks.

With the first pick in the draft teams look for a player that can make an immediate impact. In Rumph the 49ers found exactly that. The cornerback positions is one of the few areas where a player coming onto this years roster will have a real chance to be on the field and make a difference, and that's why with the twenty-seventh overall, the 49ers wasted very little time in selecting Rumph.

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