49ers Blog and Q&A

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

May 9, 2014
Round 2: Plenty of CBs, WRs left for 49ers

Jimmie Ward, the 49ers' first-round draft pick, can play several positions, including free and strong safety as well as the slot position in the team's nickel defense. General manager Trent Baalke, however, made it clear that he is not looking at Ward as a cornerback.

That means the 49ers' two biggest draft needs, cornerback and wide receiver, still must be addressed. The 49ers have five picks - two on the second round and three in the third - today, and there's a good chance they package some of those picks to target players they like. Baalke acknowledged interest in trading up in the first round for receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., but he said the price of doing so was too steep.

Instead, he decided to rely on the draft's impressive depth at the position. "We feel good about the wide receiver corps all the way through the draft," he said. "We feel there's going to be value to be had at every level. And that is one of the positions that we feel, or have felt all along, that had some depth to it."

Here are the top players remaining at cornerback and receiver, according to CBS.com. Comments are mine. The 49ers currently have picks 56 (2nd), 61 (2nd), 77 (3rd), 94 (3rd) and 100 (3rd).

Wide receivers:
* Marqise Lee, USC - Quick, smooth route runner looked great in 2012, battled injuries last year.
* Allen Robinson, Penn State - Good size and length but not as fast as some of the other options.
* Cody Latimer, Indiana - Powerfully built junior with very good hands. Coming off foot injury.
* Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt - Prolific pass catcher in SEC; many catches were on screens, short routes.
* Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss - He may be the best athlete of the group; was inconsistent last year.
* Davante Adams, Fresno State - FBS' leader in Tds and receptions last year. Great leaper, not fast.
* Jarvis Landry, LSU - Physical, determined pass catcher but not athletic or fast
* Bruce Ellington, South Carolina - Played point guard for Gamecocks. Physical, tough but lacks size.
* Martavis Bryant, Clemson - Tall, long-limbed down-field threat in the mold, at least, of Randy Moss.
* Paul Richardson, Colorado - Fast, downfield threat but weighs only 172 pounds.

Cornerbacks:
* Philip Gaines, Rice - Surprised with an extremely fast 4.31-second 40 at combine. Has good, not great size.
* Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska - One of several tall, big-bodied cornerbacks who could catch Baalke's eye.
* Keith McGill, Utah - Another massive cornerback in the mold of Richard Sherman, other press specialists.
* Jaylen Watkins, Florida - Older brother of Clemson WR Sammy Watkins; versatile member of Gators secondary.
* Pierre Desir, Lindenwood - Tall, long-limbed but played at small school. Held his own at Senior Bowl.
* Marcus Roberson, Florida - Had alcohol arrest in 2011 and suspended a game in 2013. Next.
Walt Aikens, Liberty - Another 6-1, 200-plus pound cornerback who can play press coverage.
* Bashaud Breeland, Clemson - Tall and long-limbed. Had solid career at Clemson; burned deep vs. FSU.
* Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State - Former wrestler and team leader. Physique does not stand out.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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