Trent Baalke probably shocked a few 49ers fans when he took yet another safety in Round 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
After all, he had selected safeties Eric Reid (2013) and Jimmie Ward (2014) early in the draft the previous two years.
It’s likely Baalke envisioned Tartt as a hybrid, though — a player capable of holding his own in coverage but dropping down within the box on nickel packages to act as a linebacker of sorts. And maybe this is why Baalke avoided drafting inside linebackers in 2015 and 2016 as well.
Who knows, though, and Tartt’s coverage skills his first two seasons at the pro level weren’t particularly great.
Like offensive guard Joshua Garnett, though, this placement is largely contingent on potential now. With San Francisco shifting to a 4-3 base defense, using a lot of Cover 3 schemes, Tartt’s role may wind up shifting to an in-the-box safety — an ideal fit for his 6-foot-1, 221-pound frame.
Let’s hope that works out well enough.