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May 12, 2014
Tale of the tape: 49ers have long-armed draft class ... with one exception


Trent Baalke, an admitted admirer of long-armed players, lamented in February that few draft prospects this year had the length he's looking for. "All of the guys last year on the D-line were 34 (inches) or more," Baalke said of 2013 prospects like Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial. "I think it's an important trait. It's a trait that's hard to find. If you look at this this year's measurements, you're not going to find many players in this year's draft that are 34-plus arm length regardless of position -- O-line, D-line, linebacker. So it is a trait we certainly look at."

Still, Baalke managed to land three prospects in the 34-inch club on Friday and Saturday. Keeping in mind that the average arm length -- from shoulder to the end of the middle finger -- in this draft was little under 31 inches, here are the official measures, most of them from the scouting combine:

1. S Jimmie Ward - 31"
2. RB Carlos Hyde - 32"
3A. OL Marcus Martin - 34"
3B. ILB Chris Borland - 29 1/4"
3C. OL Brandon Thomas - 34 3/4"
4A. WR Bruce Ellington - 31"
4B. CB Dontae Johnson - 31 1/2"
5A. OLB Aaron Lynch - 34"
5B.CB Keith Reaser - 30 ¾"
6. CB Kenneth Acker - 31"
7A. DL Kaleb Ramsey - 32 7/8"
7B. Trey Millard - 31"
* WR Stevie Johnson - 32 3/4"

Obviously, Borland's stubby arms stand out, and they were a knock against him in the run-up to the draft. When he met with reporters Friday night, Baalke arrived armed - sorry, couldn't resist -- for questions about Borland's levers. "How can you not love him as a football player?" Baalke said. "Not tall enough, not fast enough, arms are too short - you hear all of that. We just love the makeup. We love the player. He's everything you're looking for from a DNA standpoint."

* trade

-- 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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