We have a trade! The 49ers were waiting for a player they fell in love with to fall to a reasonable destination to trade up for, and, sure enough, they found him.
San Francisco traded picks No. 102, 164, and 222 for No. 87 to select Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown.
Brown had a somewhat disappointing NFL Combine as he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash and had subpar vertical and broad jumps for his size. The 5’11”, 203-pound safety was arguably the most productive safety coming out.
Sports Info Solutions had Brown as the second-best safety in the draft on a per-play basis, behind Alabama safety Brian Branch. Brown’s instincts make up for his lack of explosiveness:
These 3 plays sold me on Penn St. safety Ji'Ayir Brown.— KP (@KP_Show) February 27, 2023
- 1st play he takes on the OT for a TFL
- 2nd play quick trigger coming out of the roof to make an open field tackle
- 3rd play is one of the best plays you'll see a safety make.
Brown has 1st round eyes/recognition. pic.twitter.com/ftZuWhCRGD
Versatility is king, and Brown blitzed more than any safety in the draft while notching the most pressures and sacks per game at his position. That might give us a hint at how the 49ers use him, and how they view Brown as an interchangeable piece with Talanoa Hufanga.
We’ll have more analysis on Brown in the coming days.