Antone Exum Jr. entered the season as a reserve safety, but really stepped it up when he was called upon. The 27-year-old safety was a force in the secondary, laying huge hits on opposing receivers. He took safety Adrian Colbert‘s No. 38 from last season, and hit like Colbert did in 2017.
Exum even had one of the 49ers’ two interceptions of the season.
As you would expect a backup safety to do, Exum did have many lapses in coverage, but his overall level of play this season was impressive. He should retain his backup role heading into next season. And if he does not make the team, another one will be lucky enough to be getting a solid backup safety.