49ers 2020 NFL Draft needs: Ranking top 5 safety options

Xavier McKinney, Alabama Crimson Tide(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Xavier McKinney, Alabama Crimson Tide(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Ashtyn Davis, Cal
Ashtyn Davis,California Golden Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

No. 4: Ashtyn Davis, California Golden Bears

Could the 49ers look within their home state for a potential replacement? Ashtyn Davis has been a solid safety for the California Golden Bears the last few seasons, and his fit at free safety could see him fit right into the Niners scheme.

While not especially quick, Davis is a hard hitter and a sure tackler who has made his share of plays for Cal over the years. His biggest strength is his motor, being able to fearlessly tackle his opponent or fight blocks.

Davis is a bit limited in what he can do in the NFL, however. He doesn’t possess the elite speed needed to effectively defend from the slot against speedy slot receivers, and he doesn’t fit as a high safety being responsible for the deep part of the field. These limitations will hinder his draft stock.

Where Davis fits is as a free safety, and being responsible for the more intermediate parts of the field. He’s shown a knack for undercutting routes and picking passes off, and can make those plays at the last second to either intercept or deflect the ball.

Davis looks like a pick for the second day of the draft. The 49ers need to trade down for the pick to make sense, but he does look like he can be a solid safety in the NFL if teams play to his strengths.