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April 30, 2011
Round six: Niners take USC receiver, TCU safety

A team that's full of ex-Stanford coaches took its first Pac-10 product, wide receiver Ronald Johnson from USC. Johnson, 5-10, 185 pounds, caught 64 passes for 692 yards last year, 61 one of those yards against Vic Fangio's Cardinal defense.

ronald.jpg colin jones.jpg

Johnson obviously is very familiar to 49ers receiver coach John Morton, who coached at USC last season. It's the second year the 49ers have used a sixth-round pick on a small-ish receiver from the Pac 10. They took Arizona State's Kyle Williams last season. Williams appeared in five games in 2010. He had one catch for eight yards.

Johnson handled 22 punt returns last season for 312 yards including a touchdown. He said the 49ers were looking at him to help out on punt returns and to help stretch the field on offense. He ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at USC's pro day.

Asked if there was any animosity toward Jim Harbaugh at USC, Johnson said, no. "We all respected him," he said. "He's a great coach. He had his players doing the right thing on the field and off the field."

Later in the second round, the 49ers took Colin Jones, a 208-pound safety from TCU. Jones had three sacks and an interception last year and made a splash in TCU's Rose Bowl win.

Jones said he knew he would excel at TCU's pro day - well attended because of quarterback Andy Dalton - and he did just that. He ran his 40-yard dash in 4.34 and 4.38 seconds, had a 37-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot, 4-inch broad jump.

Jones said he's had a lot of contact recently with secondary coach Ed Donatell and special teams coordinator Brad Seely. "I had a workout with them earlier back at TCU and I talked to them a lot over the last two weeks," he said. Jones described himself as a blue-collar player who loved to play special teams. That promises to be his role in 2011.

-- 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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