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We’ll go with a trio of safeties

Everyone always remembers their favorite draft pick at the time. You, yes, you, knew Fred Warner was destined for greatness. Of course, George Kittle was bound to be the best tight end in the game. Also, you don’t get credit for being right about DeForest Buckner or Nick Bosa.

Let’s flip the script. Who was your least favorite pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Draft? A player you couldn’t stand at first. Then, they played football, and you realized how wrong you were. This is a safe space.

A popular answer may be the safeties from the past decade. If you were an avid college football watcher or from the Bay Area, you knew Eric Reid was a good football player. But few people knew Jimmie Ward, and even fewer knew Jaquiski Tartt’s name. All three players lived up to expectations and shook off some early doubts about them.

First-round safeties selected before Ward in 2014:
Calvin Pryor
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Deone Bucannon

Ward outlasted them all and found himself a nice niche at nickel.

Tartt, who is only 32, would still be in the league had he caught a pass from Matthew Stafford in the NFC Championship game. It’s wild to think about how one play can change the perception of one player. But Tartt was as rock solid as it gets at the position. It’s a shame we couldn’t see the Ward-Tartt duo healthy for longer.

Reid is the same age as Tartt despite being drafted two years prior. Talent isn’t the reason Reid is without a job. He was one of Carolina’s best defenders in 2019.

I’ll go with the three safeties. Relative unknowns who performed much better than the casual fan would have anticipated.

Who are you selecting?

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About the Author: Insidethe49

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