The 49ers select USC Saftey Talanoa Hufanga with pick 180 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
CAREER: He has 203 tackles, including 16.5 for losses (with 6.5 sacks), plus 8 deflections, 4 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles in his career. He has appeared in 24 games in his career, with 21 starts.
2020: Hufanga proved to be one of the nation’s top safeties while starting at strong safety as a 2020 junior. Overall in 2020 while starting all 6 games, he had a team-high 62 tackles, including 5.5 for losses of 33 yards (with 3 sacks for minus 19 yards), plus a team-best 4 interceptions for 90 yards (22.5 avg), a team-high 2 forced fumbles and a deflection. He was second nationally in interceptions (0.7, first in Pac-12), 16th in forced fumbles (0.3, sixth in Pac-12) and 18th in tackles (10.3, fourth in Pac-12). He had an interception in 4 consecutive games in 2020 (Arizona, Utah, Washington State, UCLA), the first Trojan to do so since Sammy Knight in 1996. He was named the 2020 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and AP Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the AP All-American first team, Walter Camp All-American first team, Sporting News All-American first team, ESPN.com All-American first team, CBSSports.com All-American first team, The Athletic All-American first team, USA Today All-American first team, Pro Football Focus All-American second team, Phil Steele All-American third team, All-Pac-12 first team, AP All-Pac-12 first team, Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 first team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team. He was the 2020 Polynesian Co-College Player of the Year, is a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and and was a semifinalist for the Witten Award.
He had a team-best 10 tackles (0.5 for loss) and a forced fumble against Arizona State, then had 4 tackles and an interception at Arizona. He had 10 tackles, an interception and a deflection at Utah, then had a game-high 9 tackles (with a sack) against Washington State and also returned an interception 37 yards to set up a USC TD. He had a game-high 17 tackles at UCLA (he had 18 against the Bruins in 2019), including 2 for losses, plus an interception and a forced fumble that USC recovered to earn Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week, Thorpe Award National Defensive Back of the Week, CollegeSportsMadness.com National Defensive Player of the Week, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and CollegeSportsMadness.com Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. He had 12 tackles with 2 sacks against Oregon.