Being set to enter the season without a proven starter opposite Marcus Peters, the Chiefs made a move to acquire some veteran help at cornerback.
Andy Reid announced the team traded a draft pick for 49ers corner Kenneth Acker, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets. Acker will join a cornerback corps full of young players like himself, with the Chiefs’ top in-house options being homegrown talents drafted in the past three seasons.
The compensation will be for a seventh-round pick in 2018, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
Acker has started more games than any of Kansas City’s other right cornerback options. Opposite the reigning defensive rookie of the year, who plays primarily on the left side, the Chiefs’ options weren’t exactly proven talents. Third-rounders Steven Nelson and Phillip Gaines represent the NFL experience, but Nelson barely played last season and Gaines — a 2014 starter — is returning from a torn ACL. Rookies KeiVarae Russell and D.J. White joined the fray this April as well.
Acker came to the 49ers as a sixth-round pick in 2014 and started 13 games last season. He intercepted three passes, deflected eight and made 63 tackles for the rebuilding team in 2015. He’ll now join one with playoff aspirations.
However, Acker is also coming off a season he finished on IR. A stress fracture in his foot ended his ’15 season, although the former SMU talent still managed to get in 15 games.
Acker was a primary starter for the Jim Tomsula-led Niners, but under new DC Jim O’Neil, his star has fallen a bit. The 6-foot corner came into the weekend behind not only starters Jimmie Ward and Tramaine Brock, but the 24-year-old relocating performer also sat behind rookies Will Redmond and Rashard Robinson — taken in the third and fourth rounds this year, respectively. Per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, Keith Reaser and Chris Davis are expected to join the rookie corners as the 49ers’ primary backups this season.
This is the third trade in the past four years between these franchises. The 49ers sent Alex Smith to Kansas City in 2013, and the teams exchanged disappointing first-round receivers A.J. Jenkins and Jonathan Baldwin later that year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.