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March 19, 2014
Breaking Benjamin? Baalke attends Florida State pro day


General manager Trent Baalke was among the many NFL faces who attended Florida State's pro day on Tuesday. This shouldn't be all that surprising. The Seminoles are loaded with talent, including two, shall we say, 'persons of interest' for Baalke and the 49ers: receiver Kelvin Benjamin and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner.

The 49ers could stand to add players at both positions in May. At 5-8, Joyner is undersized. But he is tough, aggressive, a team leader and could fill in at the nickel cornerback spot Carlos Rogers played the last three seasons. Joyner likely will be taken in the second round, a round in which the 49ers have two picks.

Benjamin is a possibility in the first round, and he could be someone the 49ers move forward to get. He's got excellent size for a wideout (6-5, 240) with the long arms that Baalke covets. He's not the speedy, slot receiver-style complement to Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree the 49ers could use (although he did a lot of damage for the Seminoles on go and post routes). Instead he conceivably would be a future replacement for Crabtree and Boldin whose contracts expire in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Boldin, of course, also went to Florida State, and the 49ers view him as the ideal mentor for the young wideouts in their locker room. He also is from Pahokee, Fla., a sister city on the shore of Lake Okeechobee with Belle Glade, which is where Benjamin is from.

The 49ers drafted two Florida State players last year, Tank Carradine and Nick Moody. Baalke also attended Wisconsin's pro day this month.

Speaking of pro days, I'll be heading off to San Jose State's this afternoon. The headliner is the quarterback, David Fales. But the Spartans also have a cornerback, Bene Benwikere, and a wideout, Noel Gigsby.

-- 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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