5. Richard Sherman
Sherman absolutely deserves to be a starter in the 49ers’ high-quality secondary. The question is whether or not he deserves to be one of the team’s starting cornerbacks at this stage of his career.
The team once considered moving him to safety full-time. That would allow Sherman to take advantage of his supreme intellect. He still reads the game at an elite level. It would also prevent teams from isolating Sherman in single-coverage and taking advantage of his lack of foot speed, as Sammy Watkins did in the Super Bowl.
Add it all up and Sherman still deserves to be called one of the most overrated players in the league. The idea he’s still a shutdown corner at the age of 32 is ludicrous. Can Sherman play? Yes, but he benefits from San Francisco’s zone-heavy scheme.
Again, Sherman still has a meaningful role to play on a team that is a legitimate Super Bowl contender. He has every right to be on the field when the stakes are at their highest for San Francisco. The problem is that the 49ers can no longer trust him in single coverage against any wide receiver of quality.