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Who will lead the 49ers in interceptions in 2023?

There are a couple of new faces, but most of the 49ers secondary remains unchanged.

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Last season the 49ers calmed a concern for fans surrounding turning the football over, particularly interceptions. Twenty-three interceptions were more than double the team’s total in 2021 (11). Jimmie Ward led the team with three interceptions, while the 2022 team had four players with three picks (Tashaun Gipson, Talanoa Hufanga, Deommodore Lenoir), including Jimmie Ward.

Gipson led the team with five, but with a new defensive coordinator, who leans toward secondary play, who will lead the team in 2023?

Tashaun Gipson, Sr.

Gipson, Sr only saw 32 targets in 2022, according to PFF, but made the most of his opportunities. Five interceptions with a small number of targets are impressive. Still, it is hard to envision a repeat performance if the trend of targets continues.

One thing to monitor is whether or not Ji’Ayir Brown takes snaps away from Gipson, Sr.

Talanoa Hufanga

As the team’s primary ball hawk, Hufanga turned in an all-pro season in his first year as a starter. Four interceptions and seven pass breakups are impressive, but Hufanga’s risk-taking is evident with the six touchdowns and 86.0 passer rating allowed.

With Steve Wilks possibly shifting the defense to a single high look with Gipson playing center field, Hufanga should have plenty of opportunities to roam and create turnovers.

Deommodore Lenoir

Lenoir is a dark horse to lead the team in interceptions in 2023. While he was the most targeted cornerback on the team, the leaps taken down the stretch, and in the playoffs can’t be ignored. Lenoir had more targets than Charvarius Ward despite playing close to 100 snaps less.

Playing opposite Ward, the team’s best corner, will increase Lenoir’s opportunities to notch interceptions. If Lenoir continues to grow, there is no telling where the confidence can take the youngster.

Charvarius Ward

When you are the unquestioned best cover corner on the roster and one of the best in the NFL, quarterbacks will be hesitant to test you. If the choice is testing Mooney or Lenoir, you can bet the opposing team and quarterback will likely choose Lenoir.

Ward did allow four touchdowns, but he also allowed a 58.5 completion percentage and notched 11 pass breakups.

The only question is: will teams test Ward, and can he convert on his limited opportunities?

Ji’Ayir Brown

Tig has made his mark on OTAs with interceptions, ask his locker mate Brandon Aiyuk. This pick would be with longer odds considering Gipson Sr’s presence and Brown playing sparingly in his first season.

Brown could see the field with Hufanga and Gipson, Sr. I’d imagine Brown has a chance to roam and ball hawk.

Who do you think will lead the 49ers in interceptions in 2023?

Poll

Who will lead the 49ers in interceptions in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Gipson, Sr.
    (60 votes)
  • 49%
    Hufanga
    (323 votes)
  • 16%
    Lenoir
    (107 votes)
  • 7%
    Ward
    (50 votes)
  • 16%
    Brown/other
    (109 votes)
649 votes total Vote Now