49ers 53-man roster projections: Safety

With the start of training camp a week from Wednesday, now is the perfect time to look at each of the position groups on the San Francisco 49ers roster and predict who will make the 53-man roster.

We have covered the offense, defensive line, linebackers, and cornerbacks; today, we wrap up this series with a look at safety. 

On the roster: Tarvarius Moore, Jimmie Ward, Taylor Hawkins, Talanoa Hufanga, Leon O’Neal Jr, George Odum, Qwuantrezz Knight 

Analysis: Talanoa Hufanga is first in line to replace Jaquiski Tartt, who left San Francisco during free agency. Hufanga started two games alongside Jimmie Ward in 2021, victories at Chicago and against the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers came out on each game’s winning side, and Ward recorded his only two regular season interceptions in that Rams contest.

San Francisco has several of the top quarterbacks in the NFL on their schedule for 2022. They will need the new combination at safety to not miss a beat if they are to return to the playoffs.

Question marks: Hufanga showed growth throughout last season, so much so that Jimmie Ward didn’t realize his fellow safety had started only three games. Although he played 395 defensive snaps during the regular season, Hufanga had some difficulty in coverage. If those issues continue this season, where do the 49ers turn?

Tarvarius Moore missed all last season with a torn Achilles. Even when healthy, Moore often struggled to take proper pursuit angles or was out of position. 

San Francisco added George Odum in free agency. Odum was an All-Pro as a special teamer for Indianapolis in 2020 and made seven starts for the Colts last season.

If any of the top four safeties don’t work out, San Francisco will turn to one of three undrafted rookie free agents signed this offseason or need to bring in a free agent. 

53-man Roster Projection: (4) Jimmie Ward, Talanoa Hufanga, Tarvarius Moore, George Odum

This article has 14 Comments

  1. 49ers need to do the NFCCG 4th Qtr Tartt Drill to determine who makes the roster at Safety. Throw a ball up in the air straight to the Safety with no one else around. If the Safety catches the ball they make the team. If they drop it then they’re cut.

    1. 1.6
      So NFL teams no longer have RB’s that run the ball? And after catching the ball (with no one else around), the receivers have to stop running and down the ball?
      Therefore, a Safety doesn’t have to tackle? Good to know, GOT IT!
      Yea, I know you’re being sarcastic, but Tartt dropping the INT isn’t the only reason why the 9ers lost to the Rams.
      HINT: How many int’s did JG throw? Or the fact the Rams stacked the box with 8 D players and dared the KS to let JG throw the ball to beat them?
      I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the Rams trying to utilize that defense against KS and Lance.

  2. Hufango is a great guy and team member but has not shown consistent coverage ability. Moore is a long shot. I will be looking for talent among the undrafted names.

  3. Leon O’Neal Jr. is one of my dark horses to emerge as a potential starter, and I am sticking with him!

  4. Jack
    Re “Even when healthy, Moore often struggled to take proper pursuit angles or was out of position.”

    * You should explain how the 9ers tried playing Tarvarius Moore out of position as a CB, after drafting him in the 3Rd round of the 2018 draft, as a Free Safety.
    * In 2020, Moore played in all 16 games, and started 8. In June 2021, Moore suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon during practice and was placed on the reserve/PUP list on August.
    * When comparing Moore to Hufango, we need to remember Hufango is a SS who plays best close to the LOS against the run. Moore is a FS, who is better in pass coverage and ran a 4.32s 40, while SS
    Hufango ran a 4.64s 40.

    NOTE: If you look at the 9ers 2022 schedule, they play against teams with some of the top WR’s in the NFL. Moore’s strength is covering WR’s and is Hufango’s weakness, although Hufango will improve as
    he learns to read the offense.

  5. Grant Cohn brought up something interesting on his show today. Where does Jimmy G rank among the all time 49er QB’s?
    1 Joe Montana
    2 Steve Young
    3 Y.A. Tittle
    4 John Brodie
    5 Frankie Albert
    6 Jeff Garcia
    7 Alex Smith
    8 Kap
    9 Jimmy G
    and #10 your guess is as good as mine. How bout Joe Reed, he should get some credit for singing the national anthem.
    Anybody have any big differences from my list?

    1. Think I would put Jimmy G at 7 and push everyone else down. Longevity isn’t on his side but he does have 1 SB and 1 NFCCG appearance in 3 years.

      1. Im not sure he’s better than Kap

        Kap made things happen in his Superbowl and NFC championship

        Jimmy wilted…and was a non factor in his games…

        If only Kap could read a defense and had touch on his passes
        He’d probably still be our Qb…who knows

  6. 49ers training camp will begin on July 26 and run for three weeks. All practices will run from 10:15 a.m until 12:15 p.m. PST.
    Wednesday, July 27th
    Thursday, July 28th
    Saturday, July 30th (Back Together Saturday)
    Monday, August 1st
    Tuesday, August 2nd
    Wednesday, August 3rd
    Friday, August 5th
    Saturday, August 6th
    Sunday, August 7th (Dwight Clark 87 Day)
    Tuesday, August 9th
    Wednesday, August 10th

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