49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 1, 2011
Prince & Patrick show kicks off today

***Update*** Amukamara recorded unofficial times of 4.37 seconds and 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Peterson was officially clocked at 4.34 seconds.

Two names that cornerback Prince Amukamara promises to be sick of hearing by the time the draft rolls around: Patrick Peterson and Justin Blackmon.

Amukamara, who played at Nebraska, is considered one of the top, if not the top, cornerbacks in the country. At 6-feet, 206 pounds, he has excellent size and he was a very good tackler for Bo Pelini and the Cornhuskers. The only player who might be better at the position is LSU's Peterson. Despite a talented group of cornerbacks at the combine - they will go through their drills today - it's been the "Prince and Patrick Show" as far as the media is concerned.

In fact, when Amukamara stepped to the podium Sunday, his first question shouted at him was, 'Are you better than Patrick Peterson?' "That's a good question," the reserved Amukamara said. "I guess we'll find out."

Meanwhile, Blackmon is the Oklahoma State receiver who had five catches for 157 yards against Nebraska this past season, many of them while lined up against Amukamara. The game has been used as evidence that perhaps Amukamara isn't as good in deep coverage - sound familiar, 49ers fans? - as a top corner should be.

"Justin Blackmon is a real good wide receiver," Amukamara said when asked about the game. "He only got me on two plays and they were (both) in the first half. I corrected it in the second half. And I had a better second half and our team won."
Other cornerbacks to watch at today's combine:

1. Jimmy Smith, Colorado. 6-2 1/4 , 211.
2. Brandon Harris, Miami, 5-11, 195
3. Aaron Williams, Texas, 6-0 ½, 195.
4. Curtis Brown, 5-11 5/8, 180
5. Ras-I Dowling, Virginia, 6-1 ½, 198

As you can see from the measurements, one of the themes in this year's draft is that it is full of big cornerbacks. Smith, whom many see as the No. 3 player at the position, was asked about comparisons to free agent Nnamdi Asomugha. Smith's reply didn't lack for confidence.

"I like the comparison, he's a shutdown corner in the NFL," he said. "I mean, I like the comparison a lot. I think I have better ball skills than he does, though." Smith, it should be noted, had three interceptions in four years at Colorado.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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