Two questions: Is Keenan Allen falling in the draft, and are the 49ers the team that would catch him if he were?
The Cal wideout finally ran for scouts today following his late October posterior cruciate ligament injury, and the results weren't great. According to NFL Network's Mike Mayock, Allen ran in the 4.7-second range, which would be ok for a tight end but slow to very slow for a wideout, especially one that's expected to be taken in the first round.
The time was not a surprise to Allen, who told me last week that he was 85 percent recovered from his pesky PCL injury. Allen said he is continuing to regain strength and that he would be 100 percent in "a couple of weeks." Of course, the draft will be held in a couple of weeks, and the question now is whether teams picking in the first half of the first round would gamble on someone who hasn't been healthy for five and a half months. Mayock estimated that Allen could go anywhere from pick 25 to 45 in the draft. The 49ers have picks No. 31 and No. 34.
San Francisco fans certainly don't have to look very far for precedent. Presumed starting wideout Anquan Boldin - whom Allen said he tries to emulate - ran his 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds in 2003 and was taken in the second round (54th overall) that year. The other starter, Michael Crabtree, never ran a 40 at all (he had a broken foot at the time), and the 49ers selected him 10th overall in 2009.
Meanwhile, the 49ers have a lot of wide receivers on the roster, but the position is murky now and even cloudier in the future. Four wideouts - Boldin, Mario Manningham, Marlon Moore and Kyle Williams - are signed only through 2013. Crabtree is signed through 2014, but if his rookie contract was any indication, he will be difficult to lock up with a long term deal. The only 49er wide receiver on the roster longer than that is 2012 first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins, who is signed through 2015 and who - sing it with me, chorus - did not have a catch last season.
The 49ers spent time with Allen at the combine. He's also similar in size and bruising style to Boldin and Crabtree, and one can assume the 49ers are intrigued by Allen because of those similarities.
Here's a look at the contract length for every 49er.
-- Matt Barrows