It was a swing and a miss for the 49ers in their pursuit of the newly-acquired safety for the Baltimore Ravens Earl Thomas. It would have been a seemingly perfect match, especially having Richard Sherman, his former teammate, locking down one side of the field.
Oh, what could have been!
Instead of landing Thomas - or any of the other available free agent safeties - San Francisco now turns its gaze towards April’s draft. The 2019 class boasts great depth on the defensive side of the ball and the Niners should be able to shore up the need for an EDGE rusher - something that has been lacking over the last few seasons.
But what about safety? There are some names out there that could fit: Deionte Thompson is probably the best safety prospect but will almost definitely be gone by the latter part of round one. So who would be up as the next best available safety?
I submit to you one name, a name you have probably already heard - a player who would certainly improve the 49ers’ secondary and, hopefully, set the defense up for success for years to come.
That name is none other than Nasir Adderley out of Delaware.
Put simply, Adderley has been shooting up teams’ draft boards all offseason. Just look at what the guys over at The Draft Network have to say:
One of the most exciting things about being a draft evaluator is finding players like Adderley that you never expected to be anything special, yet they blow you away on tape. The toughest thing about Adderley’s evaluation was finding a weakness, as he appears to be a top-notch athlete with exceptional short-area quickness and fluidity, while also possessing the ability to open up and cover ground with speed and range as a single-high safety.
Before we go any further let me just say that watching film on Adderley is a delight. The man has great ball skills, really good range, is fluid and agile and extremely versatile, and has the ultimate competitive toughness to hang with the best of the best in the pros.
Nassir Adderley skipped workouts due to a lingering high ankle sprain suffered during his final season at Delaware. Thus, there are no combine results to list here.
What we can do, though, is examine and discuss the film that we do have on Adderley and answer the question on whether or not he’d be a good fit for this football team.
What you see when looking at the tape is a player who is able to play at multiple positions in the secondary - from hugging the box near the line of scrimmage to making sure the D isn’t beat over the top.
The man can do it all.
He has excellent form as a tackler and is someone who will wrap up and drive through contact. Adderley consistently delivers big hits as frequently as possible, but won’t abandon form for a knockout blow every time.
In the pass game he was not targeted that much but when he was he flashed supreme ball skills, as you can see below:
And, if he’s available near the late part of the first round then, if I’m John Lynch, I do what it takes to get back into the first to snag him before some other team gets the same idea.
If Adderley falls into the second, though, then consider it manna from heaven as that is a scenario that the San Francisco brass should not pass up.
What do you think?
Is he worth jumping back into the first round for?
Let us know in the comments below!