No. 6: Difference maker in the 49ers secondary
With one of the backup safety spots locked up by Tarvarius Moore, as well as the pectoral injury suffered by D.J. Reed which rules him out for at least the start of training camp, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, this leaves a great opportunity for rookie defensive back Jared Mayden to showcase his versatility in the 49ers secondary and prove that he is the playmaker to take the defense to the next level.
Mayden stands to be the one player with the most to gain this offseason. Safety Marcell Harris was incredibly poor in pass coverage last season, when called upon, that 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh must decide whether he wants to have one “box safety” or two “free safeties” to back up the starters, Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward.
With offenses passing the ball more and more with each passing game, the 49ers cannot afford to have a safety who does not excel in pass coverage.
This reason alone is why Mayden has a golden opportunity to show off his diverse skill set and nail down a 53-man roster spot.
Considering Mayden’s skill set and how high some of the draft evals were on him leading up to the draft, it would not be a surprise if Mayden was to get picked up off of the practice squad, should the 49ers not give Mayden a spot on the 53-man roster.
In a league where cover safeties are at a premium and versatility is coveted by every defensive coach, Mayden is primed to make a big impact to solidify a place on the 53-man roster, with one of the best performances we will see from any player during training camp.