San Francisco weakness: Cornerback

For the first time in a very long time, the 49ers really do not have a plethora of major weak spots. That is progress.

Many people would say quarterback is San Francisco’s biggest weakness. I am not one of those people. In fact, I am very much of an Alex Smith supporter and expect him to have a very good season with more continuity and a better supporting cast around him in 2010.

Also, while I have chosen cornerback as the 49ers’ biggest weakness, I do expect a strong run game, an overall improved offense and a better pass rush led by Ahmad Brooks, Manny Lawson and Justin Smith to help alleviate issues with their cover men.

This is not to imply that the corner position is stable or without worry. Nate Clements has not worked out well since joining the 49ers and clearly hasn’t lived up to the monster contract he signed. But that isn’t to say that he isn’t still a decent player. You could do a lot worse than Clements, but it does appear as though age is starting to take its toll to some degree.

Shawntae Spencer is the other starter. He isn’t spectacular, but he has good height and isn’t bashful. As starting corners go, he is probably middle of the road or slightly above, but he was probably the best corner on this team in 2009. Tarell Brown is a youngster who has talent as well and his role could grow in 2010. Karl Paymah is slated to be the fourth corner. Again, he isn’t spectacular, but as fourth corners go, you could do worse.

Overall, this certainly isn’t an awe-inspiring group of cornerbacks, but if this is the worst facet of your team, you are doing OK.