A number of collegiate safety prospects have told reporters that they’ve met with the 49ers either at or before the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.
While the NFL Scouting Combine is always a vital piece on the road to the NFL Draft, there are plenty of scouts, coaches and general managers who don’t care so much about the on-field workouts.
After all, there’s real-life game tape out there. The “Spandex Olympics” might just be a bit overrated.
However, the NFL Combine does afford teams an excellent chance to meet with prospects, conduct interviews and such.
For the San Francisco 49ers, there seems to be one trend among players with whom they’ve met.
49ers have multiple meetings with prospect safeties at (or before) NFL Combine
Teams meet with prospects all the time, but it certainly appears as if the Niners are interested in a safety in the 2023 draft.
Particularly with two of their veterans, Jimmie Ward and Tashaun Gipson, poised to hit free agency.
Based on the prospects’ own reporting to the media from Lucas Oil Stadium, we know San Francisco has met with FSU safety Jammie Robinson at the combine, and Niners Nation’s Kyle Posey interacted with him in the following dialogue:
Posey also reported that Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown also met with the Niners.
With three picks at the tail end of Round 3 (all compensatory), the 49ers may either want Robinson to slip a little bit on draft day or trade up for him, as it’s possible he winds up being on the fringes between the second and third rounds.
Additionally, as noted by Niners Nation’s Steph Sanchez, Boise State defensive back J.L. Skinner also met with the Niners:
Additionally, per @TheSFNiners, San Francisco has met with Houston safety Gervarrius Owens.
Tack on a meeting between the 49ers and Boise State Tyreque Wilson at the East-West Shrine game, and one can see a trend here:
The Niners are highly likely to use one of those first three picks on a safety.
It also points to the strong possibility that Ward (perhaps Gipson, too) won’t be returning to San Francisco in 2023.
Unless the 49ers are being overly cautious about the possibility and exploring contingency plans to the maximum.