Penn State Football

How San Francisco 49ers Fell in Love With Ji’Ayir Brown: ‘He’s a Baller’

Ji’Ayir Brown made a strong impression on the San Francisco 49ers, early in the pre-draft process, and those good feelings carried through to the moment the Penn State Football safety became the Niners’ selection with the No. 87 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

San Francisco was so enamored by the former Nittany Lions‘ safety that the 49ers traded up to select him in the third-round of the draft.

“He’s a baller,” 49ers General Manager Lynch told reporters, of Brown. “I think he’s got the components of what I think makes up a Niner. We had a consensus, from coaches to scouts, it was all around the building. He really solidified that with this tape, but then he came here on a 30 visit and he’s just got this infectious personality.”

Brown clearly made some fans inside the 49ers’ facility during his visit, following a standout career in Happy Valley.

As a two-year starter, Brown produced 153 total tackles, intercepted 10 passes, logged 4.5 sacks, and 9.0 tackles for loss.


How the 49ers Will Use Ji’Ayir Brown

Viewed as one of the standout leaders of Penn State’s defense the past two seasons, Brown now has the opportunity to immediately compete for one of the starting safety jobs in a secondary that helped lead San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game last season.

Brown will likely compete with Tashaun Gibson and Deommodore Lenoir for immediate playing time as a rookie, after Pro Football Focus awarded him a 77 coverage grade, last season.

“I’m more excited than anybody to conversate with those guys, learn from those guys, piggyback off of each other and see how we can help this team win a Super Bowl,” Brown said.

Brown was one of six former Penn State players chosen during the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jy'Air Brown
Represent Jy’Air Brown on Saturdays, in his officially licensed Penn State Football NIL jersey.


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