With the San Francisco 49ers having so many draft picks this year, especially in the top 100 picks, a lot of people are predicting that they move up in the first round to get whichever prospect they want at whichever position they feel they need the most. A less talked about and less exciting option is that they stay right where they are at and take a guy they love who still gives the value.
That prospect could very well be Indiana University’s Cody Latimer. Latimer isn’t a guy who had a lot of people talking about him. That’s likely because of where he went to college. The state of Indiana is much more into their basketball than they are their football, so their football teams are never very good.
Latimer has really good size at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds. What’s even more impressive is that he ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. That’s a big wide receiver who can move really fast. Latimer is also a very good route runner and pass catcher. With Latimer’s skill set and his physical dimensions, he solves two problems the 49ers have at wide receiver: their lack of a big red zone target and their lack of a receiver who is fast enough to be a legitimate deep threat.
I’m not the only one to take notice of this; 49ers wide receivers coach John Morton flew out to Indiana to watch Latimer’s workout on Friday and then spent 90 minutes with him talking football and diagramming plays.
It is very likely that Latimer is still there when the 49ers pick at 30 and if he’s going to be taken before the 49ers get on the clock, they certainly have the ammunition to move up to grab him (although they probably wouldn’t have to move up much). Another option the 49ers have on draft day if Latimer is their guy is to wait until the second round to draft him. He probably won’t be there when they have their first pick in the second round, but they could easily trade up into the early second round and draft him. This would allow them to take a defensive back they really like who might have slipped to the late first round.
Another scenario is that the meeting between Latimer and Morton was just to throw up a smoke screen. No one really knows during draft season, and all we can do is look at the facts. The facts are that Latimer solves more than one problem for the 49ers and is extremely obtainable. Drafting him would allow the 49ers more room to trade up for other players at other positions of need.