One of the 49ers' priorities in the draft needs to be addressing the lack of depth in the secondary, especially at safety. They will have a chance to work with several candidates when they coach the South team at this year's Senior Bowl.
A few younger players like Marcell Harris got the chance to get some valuable playing time as a result of the injuries, but the team should still add to their mix at safety.
The good news is that the 2019 class is deep with quality safeties, and a few of the best will be on the South team in Mobile, Ala. There will be 10 total safeties in attendance, and here are four to keep an eye on.
Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State, 6-0, 215
Abram will probably be the most-hyped safety in Mobile upon his arrival. He has good size, and is very athletic.
He registered 99 tackles in his final season at Mississippi State as a transfer from Georgia. 53 of his tackles were solo, and nine were for a loss. He also managed five pass breakups, two interceptions and three sacks.
As a very physical player, Abram's strength lies in his run coverage. But, his aggressiveness can get the best of him. His quickness and speed to provide pass coverage is decent, but will need some fine tuning.
Projection: Rounds 1-2
Juan Thornhill, Virginia, 6-0, 210
Another sizable safety, Thornhill is a former defensive back and a great tackler. He added 15 pounds to his frame to become a safety, and didn’t lose his speed. The UVA product is also mobile, and has great hands.
Thornhill is great against the run, and has played in the box as a linebacker. He's a smart player, with a lot versatility.
In his final season in Charlottesville, Thornhill registered 98 tackles (62 solo). He had 4.5 tackles for a loss, six interceptions and seven pass breakups.
Projection: Rounds 2-3
Jaquan Johnson, Miami, 5-11, 195
Johnson is known as a hard hitter, and a head-hunter. He’s not great in coverage, yet packs a punch for his size. He needs to sharpen up on the angles he takes to get to the ball.
He finished his senior season with 92 tackles (44 solo,1.5 for a loss). He also managed two interceptions.
Projection: Rounds 3-5
Nasir Adderley, Deleware, 6-0 200
Adderley is the speedster of the group. He is another safety with experience at cornerback, and that helped him develop his coverage skills. Coming from a smaller school, Adderley will have more to prove at the Senior Bowl.
Adderley has more modest stats than the rest of his group, but game stats aren’t everything. He registered 48 total tackles (31 solo), but did have nine pass break ups and snagged three interceptions. He could provide value in a later round.
Projection: Later rounds