Wide receiver, cornerback, quarterback ... kicker?
It doesn't appear to be a big offseason need for the 49ers after they signed Phil Dawson to a two-year deal earlier this month. But the team worked out a big-legged prospect, Old Dominion University's Jarod Brown, at the school's pro day on Tuesday.
At 5-11, 235 pounds, Brown has a Janikowskian physique. He also has shown the ability to hit from long range. Brown made four kicks of 50 yards or more while at ODU, including a 54-yarder against Pitt last season that is the longest field goal ever at Heinz Field, both in college football and the NFL. Brown also was known as a touchback specialist on kickoffs and had 14 successful on-side kicks at ODU.
A rookie certainly isn't expected to take over for Dawson, who kicked 27 consecutive field goals for the 49ers last season. But they likely are looking for someone to help kick during OTAs, minicamps and training camp. And with Dawson turning 40 in January it certainly doesn't hurt to start looking at younger prospects.
- Matt Barrows