4. Talanoa Hufanga (S)
- No. 180 overall selecton (2021)
Despite having a successful year during the COVID-shortened season, Talanoa Hufanga was seen as someone who would drop in the draft, given his injury history. One scouting report said, "Hufanga could lack the speed and coverage ability to develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber safety, but he could grow into being a decent starter."
Welp, in just his second year, Hufanga not only made the Pro Bowl but also earned first-team All-Pro honors. He finished the year with 97 tackles, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles. His 2023 was cut short with a torn ACL, but he was a consistent starter for the 49ers until that point.
Finding diamonds in the rough such as this has been the hallmark of Adam Peters' career working in successful front offices around the league. While the Washington Commanders have had some prolific performers from lower down the pecking order under Ron Rivera, they've been nowhere near frequent enough.
Couple this with some high-end picks failing to meet expectations, it's not hard to see why Rivera's four-year stint with the Commanders didn't go according to plan. With Peters at the helm, perhaps Washington can find their Hufanga in the not-too-distant future - especially if they cannot reach an extension agreement with Kamren Curl before free agency.