For the second straight season, the 49ers are sending a position coaches to check out a promising draft prospect who is coming off an injury. This time it's receivers coach John Morton, who will be among the contingent watching Indiana receiver Cody Latimer run and catch passes today in Indiana. A year ago, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was on hand for Tank Carradine's workout. The 49ers ended up taking Carradine, who did not play any snaps last season, early in the second round, No. 40 overall.
Latimer's injury is not nearly as serious as the ACL tear Carradine suffered in November 2012. A broken bone in the receiver's foot prevented him from fully working at at the scouting combine in February, although he did lead all receivers with 23 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press. At Indiana's pro day a month ago, Latimer reportedly ran his 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, and he had a 39-inch vertical leap.
He is considered a raw talent, but his size (6-2, 215), speed, leaping ability (he's a former basketball standout) and rugged, physical style likely are intriguing to the 49ers, who traditionally have preferred big-bodied receivers in their power-running, ball-control offense. Latimer caught 72 passes for 1,096 yards last season while playing against some of the best cornerbacks in the nation - Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard and Ohio State's Bradley Roby, for example - and while playing on a less-than-stellar Indiana squad. He also played special teams. At least 23 teams are expected at Latimer's workout today.
While Carradine's knee injury prevented him from being a first-round selection last year, Latimer's biggest challenge, draft-wise, is his competition at receiver. This year's class is considered one of the deepest ever at the position, and there are several other big-bodied players vying to be late first- or second-round picks, including Latimer, Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin, Penn State's Allen Robinson, Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews, Ole Miss' Donte Moncrief and Fresno State's Davante Adams.
The 49ers have hosted several receivers this month, including Georgia State's Albert Wilson, Clemson's Martavis Bryant and Colorado's Paul Richardson. All of them are notable for their speed.
The 49ers' starting receivers are Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. The top two backups are free-agent acquisition Brandon Lloyd and second-year player Quinton Patton.
-- Matt Barrows