49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga quickly rose to prominence in his first full season as a prominent defensive starting member of the National Football League. His sophomore defensive at USC, his back has been named as one of the most influential players in this 49ers’ defense, and as one of the league-wide safety elite at his position. rapidly establishing its position.
Hufanga is the only NFL player with four or more interceptions and five or more tackles this season.
Hufanga’s defeating tackle may not come as a surprise, as he’s demonstrated exceptional instincts in the box from the moment he stepped onto the NFL field. But what stands out most about Hufanga is the timing and execution behind these plays, especially in his game of runs, scrimmage blasting behind his line.
Niners Nation’s Vish Kumaran said earlier in the season that Hufanga may have the fastest trigger in the run game of any player in the NFL. The more he plays, the harder it becomes for him to argue that there are people better than Hufanga in this aspect of the game.
But the elite level Hufanga played during our coverage, combined with the natural feeling of playing inside the box, is what really set Hufanga apart from many of his peers this season.
Here are some stats and where Hufanga ranks among eligible safety across the league.
Stop – T-2nd
Pressure – T-7th
Pass Breakup – T-2nd
Intercept – T-2nd
Passerby Rating at Target – 2nd Place
Hufanga ranks in the top 10 in most major statistical categories for his position and continues to look more and more comfortable with each record. The 49ers have a star in his second year. This raises future questions. How special will Hufanga become? Only time will tell, but for now the future looks very bright.