No. 3: SF 49ers Safety Jared Mayden
The Niners made it clear they liked former Alabama safety Jared Mayden last year, as he was a highly touted undrafted free-agent prospect despite being overshadowed with the Crimson Tide by his former collegiate teammate, now-NY Giants defensive back Xavier McKinney.
San Francisco didn’t necessarily have a need for Mayden last year aside from depth. Starting safeties already included Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, while backups like Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris were in the fold, too.
But Tartt is an unrestricted free agent and isn’t likely to return, while Harris is of the restricted variety and still hasn’t honed his pass-coverage skills much since being selected late in the 2018 NFL Draft.
It’s possible both could be gone between now and the start of the 2021 offseason program.
Mayden actually ended up seeing some modest field time last year, albeit solely on special teams over just two games played. Yet depending on what happens with the depth chart ahead of him, there’s a good chance he winds up securing a key backup role supporting the SF 49ers safety depth.
And if he’s able to get on the field for more defensive snaps, it’ll be a great opportunity for Mayden to showcase his abilities.