Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Former 49ers GM believes 5th-round pick Talanoa Hufanga was a steal

May 5, 2021 at 3:59 PM--


When Talanoa Hufanga spoke with reporters last week, shortly after being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, he came off as incredibly likable. The former USC safety was so grateful to be headed to the NFL.

"This is such a blessing," he said. "Truly, I thank God for this opportunity."

Hufanga's family comes from humble beginnings, so making it to the NFL means a lot.

"It's just a blessing. My family has been through a lot," he continued. "My dad grew up on an island where he grew up with dirt floors. When you make that transition, and I got to see where he grew up and see what it was like, you're grateful for these opportunities and how we can live our life. How I can better our lifestyle as well. That's what drives me."

Scot McCloughan recently spoke with Matt Barrows of The Athletic to break down the 49ers' most recent draft class. The former 49ers general manager believes the team got a steal in the former Trojan. McCloughan had a third-round grade on Hufanga. San Francisco got him with its last of three fifth-round picks.

"He'll play some safety, which is fine," McCloughan told Barrows. "But I saw him as like a nickel 'backer/will (linebacker)/box guy. He's a big guy. And when he brings it, he brings it. He plays big. As you can see, he loves contact.

"Now, if you put him strictly at pure safety, he's going to get into a little trouble in coverages if you don't protect him. But I liked him. I think he'll be lights out on special teams, and I think he'll be a backup safety/nickel 'backer who has a chance to be a starter in two to three years.

"You can see it on tape. You can tell he's the alpha. He made a lot of plays, in the run game especially. He enjoys the game. He enjoys physicality."

Hufanga was the last of three defensive backs drafted by the 49ers. The team selected Ambry Thomas of Michigan in the third round and Deommodore Lenoir in the fifth round.

As for playing on special teams, Hufanga is very open to that and willing to do whatever it takes to prove himself to coaches.

"You have to have an open mindset to be versatile," Hufanga said. "Any way you can get on the field and be ready for special teams as well. I think that's a big component. This is a big, big statement, but it's something I've always preached. Being a special teams Pro Bowler in my first year is a goal of mine."

Somewhere, special teams coordinator Richard Hightower smiled.





More San Francisco 49ers News



Stephon Gilmore should be a 'no-go' for 49ers, says former NFL scout

By David Bonilla
Jun 18, 2021

If you're a team coming off one of the most injury-plagued campaigns in recent NFL history, would you take to flyer on a player coming off an injury? New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore suffered a partially torn quad during Week 15 of the 2020 season and landed on injured reserve. Plus, Gilmore is looking to get paid. He is in the final year of his deal and is set to earn a base salary of $7 million for the upcoming season. The four-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro wants a contract extension and didn't report to New England's mandatory



'Nick Bosa is a BEAST': Kurt Warner breaks down the 49ers defense and run game

By Site Staff
Jun 5, 2021

Kurt Warner, as part of QBConfidential, takes a look at two aspects of the San Francisco 49ers — the team's defense and its run game. He shared his breakdowns via YouTube (h/t to Patrick Tulini). 49ers defense "Defensively, the Niners are actually pretty simple...kind of like offensively, they like to do the same thing over and over again," writes Warner in the description for the video. "Because they are really good up front, defensively that's where they thrive. They typically don't give up the big plays, relying on Nick Bosa and company to get after the quarterback. Some of their struggles last year came when Bosa suffered the injury. He's such a difference maker, and that's really what makes



49ers' Kyle Shanahan on Julio Jones to Titans trade: "My second-favorite choice is him being in the AFC"

By David Bonilla
Jun 6, 2021

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is at the Sonoma Raceway today. He is the Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race and caught up with reporters following the news of the Atlanta Falcons trading wide receiver Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers were likely interested, and there was a lot of speculation surrounding the potential of a Jones-Shanahan reunion. The coach worked with Jones for two seasons (2015-16) when he was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta. Shanahan was asked about the trade. "I'm very glad he's in the AFC," he responded. One reporter said it would have been nice to have



49ers Weekly Recap: Julio Jones traded, 2nd week of OTAs, a few signings, and more

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jun 6, 2021

Here's your recap of the top San Francisco 49ers-related stories from the past week. Julio Jones Trade This week wrapped up with a bang, as on early Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport reported that Julio Jones was traded to the Tennessee Titans along with a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick and 2023 fourth-round pick. Read More Second Week of OTAs In other news, week two of organized team activities (OTAs) concluded and with that came more press conferences. New defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was in the spotlight as he shared his plan of attack for the upcoming season. "Our defense will be a fast, attacking,


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone