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49ers to hold private workout with versatile Sione Vaki ahead of draft

Apr 3, 2024 at 1:22 PM--

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Last month, it was reported that the San Francisco 49ers had requested an official pre-draft visit with former Utah safety Sione Vaki. According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, the 49ers will hold a private workout for the defensive back after that visit to the team's Santa Clara facilities.

Vaki appeared in 12 games as a junior last season, registering 51 tackles, including 8.5 for a loss, two sacks, an interception, and two passes defensed, per Sports Reference. He allowed 20 receptions for 218 yards and a touchdown on 29 targets with the Utes last season.

Additionally, Vaki played running back in 2023, rushing for 317 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries. He also hauled in 11 receptions for 203 yards and three touchdowns. His best statistical game on offense came last season against the California Golden Bears when he rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 15 attempts in Utah's 34-14 victory.

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein envisions Vaki contributing on the defensive side at the NFL level. He wrote, "He took on carries [as a running back] to help his team when it was stung by injuries, but he's not an NFL running back. He's a conscientious tackler who is careful to center up and launch his attack only when he's in realistic striking position."

Vaki earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2023. While he'll do whatever his coaches ask of him, the player has expressed an interest in exclusively playing on defense.

"Picking off a quarterback, scoring a pick-six touchdown, those things bring more joy to me than scoring a touchdown as a running back. I love playing safety," Vaki told Melo.

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