Skip to main content
Presented by

In the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Malik Mustapha from Wake Forest University with the 124th-overall pick.

"You're going to get my all," Mustapha told president of football operations and general manager John Lynch after being drafted. "I promise you."

Keep reading to learn more about San Francisco's newest safety.

The "Nigerian Missile"

Mustapha proudly represents his Nigerian heritage with his nickname, the "Nigerian Missile."

Before claiming the nickname on the gridiron, Mustapha's first love was soccer. His father introduced him to the sport as a child, and the footwork skills he learned while playing soccer helped him in his transition to football. Although he's dedicated his talents solely to football, Mustapha still enjoys following the Nigerian national soccer team when they play in the World Cup.

Wake Forest Team Captain

Mustapha began his collegiate football career at the University of Richmond in 2020, where he started all four games of the team's spring season and tallied 17 tackles. He later transferred to Wake Forest in 2021 and finished the season with 37 tackles (two for loss), one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, four passes defended and two interceptions.

The safety went on to be named a team captain in his final season at Wake Forest (2023). He started in every game and finished the season as the team's leader in solo tackles (45). Throughout his three seasons playing at Wake Forest, Mustapha recorded 175 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, three interceptions, 10 passes defended, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

2023 All-ACC Team

Following Mustapha's standout performance during the 2023 season, the safety made the Pro Football Focus 2023 All-ACC Team, as voted on by 13 PFF analysts and data collectors.

"Mustapha is a throwback tone-setter over the middle from his strong safety spot," PFF NFL Draft analyst Trevor Sikkema wrote. "It takes only one look at him to know that his hits hurt."

NFL Combine Results

At the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, Mustapha recorded 22 reps on the bench press, the most of any safety in attendance.

Faithful Since the Beginning

Life came full circle for Mustapha on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft when he was selected by San Francisco, as the safety grew up a fan of the 49ers. His love for the red and gold was fueled by playing as a member of the 49ers in Madden.

"My family grew up being Cowboys fans," Mustapha said in a 1-on-1 interview with 49ers team reporter Lindsey Pallares. "Sometimes I like being on the opposite side. Playing Madden at a young age, I loved using Frank Gore during that time... I just grew up loving the 49ers and what they brought to the table. It just stuck with me."

With his childhood dream realized, Mustapha now sets his sights on making an impact on the field for the team he's loved since childhood.

"I'm just blessed that it came full circle for me. I'm so honored to be here and I'm ready to get to work."

back to top

Related Content