49ers roster: Predicting safety depth chart after drafting Talanoa Hufanga

Safety Talanoa Hufanga #15 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Safety Talanoa Hufanga #15 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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49ers, Talanoa Hufanga
Talanoa Hufanga (15) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Predicting 49ers Week 1 safety depth chart

Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt’s injury histories almost warrant the need to stash at least one or two other young defensive backs on the practice squad. Currently, the NFL hasn’t yet announced what the rules will be like in 2021 in light of last year’s regulations allowing previously ineligible veterans to be inked to teams’ reserve units.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

If the same applies again, expect San Francisco to retain some additional names. But for now, let’s predict the 49ers safety depth chart for Week 1 as follows:

  1. Jimmie Ward (FS)
  2. Jaquiski Tartt (SS)
  3. Tarvarius Moore
  4. Talanoa Hufanga

Tavin Wilson’s potential cap hit is just north of $1 million but with zero in guaranteed money, according to Over the Cap, so it would be awfully easy for the Niners to make him a pre-Week 1 roster cut. Had San Francisco not drafted Hufanga, Wilson’s chances for making the regular-season roster would have been significantly higher.

Yet Wilson’s addition earlier this offseason spelled a likely end of 49ers tenure for Marcell Harris, who was probably going to be the odd man out along with fellow defensive backs like Kai Nacua and Jared Mayden.

Although Nacua and Mayden both offered halfway decent special teams contributions last year, and Mayden would still qualify for practice squad eligibility under the pre-2020 NFL regulations.

Perhaps the biggest hope of all, though, is Hufanga showcases his starting potential this season, first as an immediate backup to Tartt and possibly as a long-term replacement when Tartt hits free agency in 2022.

Next. Biggest winners, losers from 49ers' 2021 NFL Draft. dark