49ers Safety Position: O.J. Atogwe, Taylor Mays And The Future

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 17: Taylor Mays #23 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after he broke up a pass intended for Louis Murphy #18 of the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on October 17 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

A couple days ago Ninjames put together a post on the 49ers safety position looking back at 2010 and briefly what could lie ahead in 2011. I bring this up again in light of the St. Louis Rams decision to release OJ. Atogwe. There had been some discussion last year about trying to bring in Atogwe, particularly given his relationship to Coach Singletary. However, nothing came of it at that point.

I'm not going to make an argument for signing O.J. Atogwe particularly because there's nothing of real significance to indicate he's going to be a 49er anytime soon. At this point, the 49ers have a whole host of safeties worth considering for the future. I've been thinking off and on primarily about what to do with Taylor Mays. Ever since he was drafted there have been people throwing out the idea that he should be a linebacker instead of a safety. Mays was given a chance to secure the safety position and he struggled with that opportunity.

Now we move into 2011 with Mays, Dashon Goldson, and Reggie Smith as the three primary options at safety. Curtis Taylor spent over half of 2010 on injured reserve and will get his crack at some playing time. Does anybody think he'll surprise folks and secure a sizable chunk of playing time outside of special teams?

Coverage has often been an issue for May, while he brings serious speed and athleticism to the field. To say he could develop best as a linebacker is speculation for the most part. Will he find success as a safety with the 49ers? Or should the team be looking to utilize his athleticism in a different fashion?

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