LISTEN: The No Huddle Vault: 49ers Legend Ricky Watters →
placeholder image

Robert Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports


Malik Mustapha impresses 49ers DB coach early

May 23, 2024 at 2:41 PM



Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The San Francisco 49ers kicked off organized team activities (OTAs) in Santa Clara this week. While the coaching staff has not had much time with their first-year players, defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks praised one of his rookies—defensive back Malik Mustapha.

The 49ers selected Mustapha out of Wake Forest in the fourth round (pick No. 124) of last month's draft. The defensive back's versatility immediately caught the team's eye.

"I just think with safety today and defensive backs today, you need to be versatile. Even linebackers," defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen said earlier this month. "I mean, look at what we've done with certain guys that have kind of been in different positions, and it's such a fast game and offenses look to expose you in certain ways. So you have to be versatile. We like when guys have the versatility (of Mustapha), but we also just loved his play style."

When asked what he admires about the rookie, Bullocks stated, "Everything that I see on tape—a guy that plays fast, physical, violent. The thing is, he's very smart. He has a strong work ethic."

Mustapha impressed the 49ers during interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine, showcasing his intelligence and passion for the game. That wasn't all that impressed Bullocks.

"He's a very smart player," Bullocks continued. "When I look at him, I know he's built. I wish I had a body like he did, especially up top. But when you're looking at him, he's a guy that's got good feet and good hips. He's a very fluid athlete. You wouldn't think that for a guy that's that stout—5-9, 208—to have fluid hips, but he's got fluid hips. He's got good feet, very smart, he's versatile.

"There's a lot of things on the back end when you watch the tape. He can come down in a box, he can bang, he can blitz. He's one of the best tackling DBs in the draft. As a defense, you want guys that can tackle because when I tell guys, 'What's your number one stat? Your number one stat is gonna be tackles. You're gonna be making more tackles than anything else.' So you need a guy that can tackle and have the right mindset and the mentality."

Like Sorensen, Bullocks also praised Mustapha's versatility, which the 49ers have valued throughout head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch's tenure. For defensive backs, that means players who can play outside, inside, and deep in any formation.

Speaking to reporters after being drafted, Mustapha commented, "I'm a downhill, speed, tenacity, ballplayer that plays with a lot of fire. I'm able to line up pretty much everywhere. Just watching the film, I'm able to impact the game on all levels of the football. I'm pretty sure the 49ers have a plan for me. I really feel comfortable in a lot of spots, being able to show that versatility during my time at Wake Forest."

Bullocks added, "So I'm excited about him. He's getting better each and every day, every time he steps on the field."
Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.
Enjoy this article? Follow us to never miss more!

Powered by Follow.it


Comments

Do not use the comments to notify us of errors in the article. Editors may not see it. Instead, report errors here.


More San Francisco 49ers News


placeholder image

49ers' Talanoa Hufanga sets sights on Week 1, praises Malik Mustapha

By David Bonilla
Jun 5

Talanoa Hufanga is determined to be back on the field by Week 1. The San Francisco 49ers safety is diligently rehabbing the ACL injury that cut his 2023 season short, placing him on the injured reserve list in November. While he aims to return for the upcoming season's start, he plans to approach his recovery wisely. "The goal is to ready by Week 1," Hufanga told reporters after today's practice. "The goal is to be in training camp, not at the very beginning, but to ramp me up correctly, just so it's not throw you out there to the wolves and good luck. But trying to be smart with it. We've had plenty of conversations with the training staff, and putting me in the best possible situation to succeed for myself, and then try to help the team as well," Hufanga told


placeholder image

Fred Warner talks supporting Dre Greenlaw, early impression of Ricky Pearsall, and a standout 49ers linebacker

By David Bonilla
Jun 5

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner was visibly heartbroken when his teammate and friend, Dre Greenlaw, left Super Bowl LVIII with a torn Achilles. Greenlaw's energy is crucial to the 49ers' defense, and his absence in the second half likely contributed to their overtime defeat. Greenlaw underwent successful surgery on February 15 and has since embarked on a long road to recovery. While he hopes to rejoin his teammates for Week 1 of the upcoming season, it's more realistic that he will start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. When asked how he is supporting Greenlaw in his recovery, Warner responded, "Just being there for him, really. Kind


placeholder image

Six 49ers stars land in NFL merchandise rankings

By David Bonilla
23 hrs

After representing the NFC in last season's Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers are once again poised as championship contenders for the upcoming 2024 season. The team has been to four NFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls over the past five seasons. Success begets popularity, as evidenced by the remarkable presence of six 49ers players in the NFLPA's rankings of officially


placeholder image

Maiocco less confident 49ers will get a deal done with Brandon Aiyuk

By David Bonilla
22 hrs

The San Francisco 49ers have had success signing their big-name players to contract extensions in recent years, securing deals with George Kittle, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel, and Nick Bosa. However, that last one didn't get finalized until dangerously close to the start of the regular season. This year, the team has been trying to get a deal done with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. While the 49ers were confident early on, given their successful track record, that a deal would be reached, the two sides reportedly remain far apart in negotiations. Last week, Michael Silver of the San Francisco


Latest

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone