Second-round pick Green, ‘go and attack’ 49ers’ D perfectly match


Second-round pick Green, ‘go and attack’ 49ers’ D perfectly match originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers added another tough-nosed player in Renardo Green and addressed their defensive back need at the same time.

The Florida State cornerback didn’t have the flashiest statistics in 41 games, but he went up against the best throughout his five-year college career, including last season’s season-opening showdown with LSU, led by Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, the No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Commanders, and Malik Nabers, who went No. 6 to the New York Giants.

Green made the only interception of his college career in FSU’s 45-24 win, snagging a Daniels pass intended for Nabers to start the fourth quarter, with the Seminoles ahead by just seven points.

That wasn’t Green’s only meeting with Daniels in a big moment. His tone-setting tackle of the QB in their 2022 matchup in New Orleans was one of Green’s team-leading eight stops in the Seminoles’ 24-23 win.

“In this NFL draft, I bet on myself,” Green said Friday in a conference call with reporters, right after the 49ers made him the No. 64 overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft. “I always felt I was one of the top corners in this year’s draft because I did what a lot of others can’t. I went against the No. 2 pick, the No. 6 pick — the Heisman winner and the receiver that broke LSU records.

“I proved it week in, and week out, pressing them. That’s one of the hardest things you can do in football is press. I was pressing all of them with no safety help over the top, me and him, one on one.”

Green, who’s 6 foot and 186 pounds, played on the outside, at nickel and at safety in college, giving the 49ers much-coveted depth behind cornerbacks Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir. Now, Ward, Lenoir or Green could play nickel, where San Francisco had issues last season, if needed.

Green also played on both sides of the ball in high school, giving him a different perspective of the game. He cites that extensive experience as an important quality now that he’s in the NFL.

“It really comes from me playing the game since I was 5,” Green said. “I feel like I have a better feel and my instincts are better than most people out there, if not all people. Seventeen years of work put in, you get what I’m saying? As hard as I work, I don’t think people work as hard as me, or put in as much time as I do.”

Green believes the 49ers landed a guaranteed contributor in the second round, but he’s also where he wanted to be — playing on an aggressive defense that perfectly matches his game.

“They fit me,” Green said. “They play like some savages, like some dogs. They fly around to the ball, everybody making plays on the ball, and they hit. Everybody comes to play. High-energy attacking defense. They are not a defense that just sits back and let the offense come to them. No, they go and attack.”

Case in point: 49ers defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks told Green during the draft process that he wouldn’t want to get into a fight with the cornerback, noting his tenacity, as evidenced by his 148 total tackles at Florida State.

“It’s supposed to be like that,” Green said he told Bullocks. “That’s what a dog is. Have you ever seen a dog fight? You’re getting a dog and a tenacious football player. An instinctive athletic football player and a versatile football player.”

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