49ers Blog and Q&A

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

April 3, 2014
49ers notes: Baalke likes Clemson CB; Brandin Cooks as DeSean-like deep threat


Interesting quote from Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks today. Of course, the 49ers aren't the only team looking for a wide receiver in the draft. The Eagles, picking at No. 22, could use one as well after parting ways with DeSean Jackson. Could Cooks fill that role?

"The man can blow the top off, catch the deep routes, catch the underneath routes, produce in the return game," Cooks told Philly.com. "He's just special. He's a freak. I definitely admire his game. Maybe Chip Kelly is looking to take another speedy receiver in that first round, and that could be me. Who knows? And if that's the case, a lot of people will wonder, 'Can he do it like DeSean Jackson?' In my opinion, I can do it like him and do it better."

It's interesting because the 49ers had at least some interest in Jackson and in another small but speedy wideout, Emmanuel Sanders, in free agency. I see Cooks as more of a catch-and-run receiver, but he certainly did a lot of damage on the outside as well with the Beavers. Do the 49ers look at Cooks that way? If so, he might be someone they're eying in the first round. (But I still think they like LSU's Odell Beckham and perhaps FSU's Kelvin Benjamin more).

Draft analyst Tony Pauline reported this week that 49ers GM Trent Baalke had dinner with Clemson cornerback Bashaud Breeland after his pro day last month. Pauline describes it as "heavy interest" from the 49ers. Breeland is seen as a second- or third-round pick. That's where the strength of the cornerback class lies. The 49ers, meanwhile, have five picks in those two rounds.

Top 49ers college scout Matt Malaspina was in South Carolina Wednesday for the Gamecocks' pro day. Defensive end Jadevon Clowney, of course, was the headliner at the event. A guy who seems to fit all the 49ers' parameters, wide receiver Bruce Ellington, also performed and looked good. Ellington is a team leader, is tough, is a good and willing blocker and has decent - though not elite - deep speed. He has visits set up with Arizona, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and St. Louis. I have not read about/learned about any 49ers visits to this point.

The Redskins signed free-agent quarterback Colt McCoy today. As David Fucillo from @NinersNation reminded me, McCoy would not count in the compensatory pick formula for 2015 if he signed a minimum-type salary, which is likely after being on the market for four weeks. Still, the 49ers have lost five free agents and signed two.

Added: S Antoine Bethea, CB Chris Cook
Lost: CB Tarell Brown (Raiders), RB Anthony Dixon (Bills), WR Mario Manningham (Giants), QB McCoy (Redskins), S Donte Whitner (Browns).

I'm hosting a chat today at 11 a.m. Free-agency theories, draft theories, missing Malaysian flight theories will abound. My cerebrum runneth over with thoughts and opinions. Www.sacbee.com/live.

- 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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