49ers take USC safety Talanoa Hufanga with 5th-round pick

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Kyle Madson
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The 49ers addressed their secondary for the third time with their third pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft. With the 180th overall pick, they selected USC safety Talanoa Hufanga.

Hufanga did a little bit of everything for the Trojans during his three years there. In 24 games, he racked up 203 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, four interceptions and eight pass breakups.

The 49ers don’t have a ton of depth at safety, nor do they have many long-term options there.

Hufanga doesn’t have the kind of range to play the Jimmie Ward role at free safety, but he has the skills near the line of scrimmage to play strong safety in the 49ers’ defense. He’s an extremely willing tackler who looks like a linebacker at times, but Hufanga is more than capable of playing coverage in short areas in the middle of the field against running backs and tight ends.

He needs a little development, but he has the tools to contribute on special teams right away and projects long-term as a strong safety.