Round 3, Pick No. 99 Overall: 49ers select S Christopher Smith
After nine seasons in San Francisco, Jimmie Ward decided to test free agency. However, it didn’t take long for him to settle on a suitor. He hightailed it out of the Bay Area and has reunited with new Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans.
Despite the departure, general manager John Lynch abstained from taking a dip in the free-agent pool to acquire a replacement. Instead, he re-signed veteran Tashaun Gipson on a one-year deal.
Locking down the other safety position is third-year man Talanoa Hufanga, who figures to build on an incredibly successful 2022 season. Together, they totaled nine interceptions, 2.5 quarterback sacks, and 17 pass breakups. That’s solid work for a defensive backfield, especially one that was still getting acquainted as the year progressed.
The starters are in place for the upcoming season, but depth is certainly an issue, and who will take over for Gipson when he decides to hang up his cleats now that Ward is no longer an option?
Having Georgia Bulldogs safety Christopher Smith waiting in the wings wouldn’t be a bad idea.
He’s certainly to stranger locking down his side of the field. In his senior year alone, he surrendered an incredible QB rating of 50.6 when targeted. He’ll fit right in with Hufanga, who led the league, with a passing-efficiency rating of 105.5.
In five seasons with the SEC, Smith played in 46 games and logged over 1,800 snaps. He’s been labeled as an “instinctive center fielder” and covers the field like a blanket.
Sounds like another safety on the roster that has also garnered new-found success.
He and Hufanga will pay the perfect compliment to each other. If paired together, in the upcoming years, going over the middle at Levis’ Stadium would be a bad idea.
In fact, it could be the new “No Fly Zone.”