San Francisco 49ers: NFL Combine Provides New Targets for 2014 NFL Draft
NFL Combine: San Francisco 49ers' Targets for 2014 NFL Draft
The San Francisco 49ers' season ended in disappointment after the team showed a lot of promise and expected to find itself in the Super Bowl again. The loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship was a very tough pill to swallow, but the team is moving on and the best way forward is to take a close look at exciting prospects in the week-long NFL Scouting Combine.
The team has started contract negotiations with quarterback and star player Colin Kaepernick who led them to two NFC title games and a Super Bowl berth. The player's indifferent game against the Seahawks does not take away the fact that he is an incredible athlete with a powerful right-arm. His stock has been on the rise steadily, and he deserves the huge paycheck that is likely headed his way.
Another team concern that has been in the news lately is the situation with head coach Jim Harbaugh whose future with the club might be in turmoil.
Let us shift the focus back to the needs of the team and the events that unfolded at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. General manager Trent Baalke's foremost priority is to finish working out things with the current squad, but the team has a definite requirement for a play-making receiver and a backup quarterback for Kaepernick. The Combine has finally concluded so let's now take a look at some players whose performances at the event should impress the 49ers.
5. Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste fits the team's requirement for a cornerback. His disappointing time of 4.61 seconds in the 40-dash might be a deterrent, but he made it up by leading all defensive backs with a vertical jump of 41.5 inches.
4. Calvin Pryor
The team apparently met with the Louisville SS before his Combine workout, but he did not have a standout performance. Calvin Pryor's exploits during his junior season are well-known and the he is also being tipped as a potential first-round pick in the draft. The 49ers need some depth in the safety position as Donte Whitner is yet to commit to a contract extension.
3. Brandin Cooks
The young WR grew up as a 49ers fan and could be a great fit with his physical strength and great speed. The former Oregon State player recorded the fastest 40-yard dash (4.33-seconds) in an Adidas cleat at the Combine and bagged the $100,000 cash prize from the sports apparel brand for his effort. He would be a great understudy to Anquan Boldin who is closing in on a new contract with the team.
2. Mike Evans
The Texas A&M star stands at 6-foot-5' and is known for his dedicated playing style. Baalke is a huge fan of long arms, and Mike Evans fits this requirement perfectly. He is another player who could benefit from Boldin's presence in the squad. Evan's solid performances at the Combine could see him get drafted early, though.
1. Logan Thomas
With Colt McCoy likely headed out, the backup QB spot is something the team has to make an important decision about. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas might not seem the best bet, but at 6-foot-6 and 248-pounds he can spring a surprise. He completed the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds and has the potential to develop into a quality player under Harbaugh's coaching.