2014 NFL Combine schedule: Day 2 welcomes quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers

The second group of players arrive on Thursday to start the NFL Combine. We break down the positions arriving, looking at their four-day schedule, what it means for the 49ers, and who to watch.

Day 2 of the NFL Combine is underway! It is notable for two reasons. The first is the arrival of the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. While they will remain under the radar on their first day, they are still sort of the "rock stars" of the draft process.

The second reason Thursday is a big day is because we get the first of the media sessions and measurements. The offensive linemen, tight ends, and special teams players will meet with the media throughout the day, while also getting measured up. The player media sessions probably won't be that big a deal for this group, but that will change on Friday, when Johnny Manziel and so many others hit the microphone.

For this first group, the measurements will be the first chance for public discussion of Combine impact. Players have started their medical evaluations and player interviews, but with measurements, the media gets the first chance to pump up or break down prospects. Does a college tackle actually have shorter arms than anticipated? Which tight end has bigger hands than expected? It's only a small part of the bigger picture, but for one day, it will take on unbelievable importance!

With the big time skill position players arriving today, here is their four-day schedule:

Thursday
February 20, 2014
Travel to Indianapolis* ~ Registration ~ Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays ~ Orientation ~ Interviews
Friday
February 21, 2014
Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Saturday
February 22, 2014
NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Sunday
February 23, 2014
On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills) ~ Departure from Indianapolis

What does it mean for the 49ers?

This second groups features potentially one of the more prominent positions on the 49ers draft board: wide receivers. The team is reportedly starting up negotiations with Anquan Boldin to get him locked up before free agency gets started. If they are able to do that, the need is lessened a bit. However, given Michael Crabtree's uncertain contract status beyond 2014, wide receiver could still prove to be on the radar. If they extend Boldin, how they approach the position in the draft could tell us a lot (or nothing at all!).

Quarterback is an interesting position for the 49ers. They have Colin Kaepernick signed through next season, with the franchise tag an option for 2015. Even if they get an extension worked out sooner rather than later, the backup quarterback position remains a question mark. Colt McCoy is a free agent, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson is the only other QB under contract. The team could find another veteran free agent, they could make a move in the later part of the draft, or maybe some combination of the two. Guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles are likely to be off the radar, but there are a lot of other talents to keep an eye on this week.

Running back would seem to be pretty far down the list, if it is even appearing at this point. The team has Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Marcus Lattimore and Jewel Hampton under contract for 2014. There is a salary cap question with Gore, and then who knows what is up with Hunter and James, but as long as this group is on the roster, there's no real reason to think the 49ers will draft a running back through the first four or five rounds. I suppose a late pick is possible, but even that seems somewhat unlikely.

Players to Watch

Trevor Woods is back with a few thoughts on the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers:

Quarterbacks

Not all of the top quarterbacks will be throwing at the combine, but UCF's Blake Bortles and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater will be looking to impress throwing the pigskin.

I expect both of them to have good combines and deliver accurate throws with some velocity. I have them both ranked ahead of Johnny Manziel and Derek Carr, both of whom will be waiting for their pro days to throw. Both quarterbacks are also athletic and have a chance to show scouts Johnny Manziel isn't the only quarterback who can pick up yards running the ball.

As far as options for the 49ers, there will be some in Indy this weekend. I see Alabama's A.J. McCarron and South Carolina's Connor Shaw as possible fits for the 49ers. McCarron possesses a high football I.Q., pocket poise, and a winning resume, sounds right up Harbaugh's alley. Shaw is a scrambling threat that has shown he can go through his progressions quickly and rarely turns the ball over.

Also worth watching are Jimmy Garoppolo and Tajh Boyd. Garopollo comes in with his stock soaring, while Boyd has seen his stock sink. Garoppolo made a name for himself at the East-West Shrine game and has been climbing up draft boards ever since. I'm not sold on Garoppolo's accuracy deep down the field, but he has a chance to make the sale Sunday with a good performance. Tajh Boyd participated in the Senior Bowl and looked ugly in the game and throughout the week of practices. A good combine could begin to turn things around for the highly inaccurate Boyd.

If the 49ers are to draft a quarterback, don't expect it to be too big a project. It would make more sense to draft a prospect that is able to compete with Colin Kaepernick in practice.

Running Backs

It's a two man race between Arizona back Ka'Deem Carey and Auburn's Tre Mason to see who the first running back off the board will be. The situation is similar to last year when there was debate as to whether Giovanni Bernard or Eddie Lacy should have been drafted first. Carey is the more powerful back of the two, while Mason is a little shiftier at 5-9. The case can be made for Ohio State's Carlos Hyde to be in the mix for the first running back drafted, but I expect him to have an underwhelming forty time.

Watch and see how De'Anthony Thomas does. Although Thomas hasn't been as highly ranked as LaMicahel James was coming out of Oregon, Thomas may be the better pro. He has more speed and more chance of becoming a successful gadget player in the NFL. If he's around in the sixth or seventh round, the 49ers could take a flier. Expect Thomas to put together a sub 4.4 forty.

Wide Receivers

Clemson's Sammy Watkins may already have the top spot locked up at receiver, and a good combine could assure that is the case. I can't wait to see Watkins in the "gauntlet" drill, it will be a thing of beauty. Watkins is going to be out of the 49ers range for a trade up, unless they trade away at least four or five picks. I love Watkins, but it isn't realistic the 49ers get him.

The rest of the top receivers could be options for the 49ers, via their first pick or perhaps a trade up, hopefully Baalke saved Jerry Jones number last year. A solid forty from Texas A&M's Mike Evans will help scouts in their assessment of him. The faster the better for Evans, as many of of his big plays have happened when he has beat his receiver handily shortly after the ball is snapped.

Other first round options for the 49ers could include USC's Marquise Lee and Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin. I wouldn't be surprised to see Benjamin having a rough combine in which he runs poor routes and drops catchable passes. The combine is made for players like Lee. A mostly sure handed receiver, as well as stellar route runner, Lee should do well in all of the drills. His draft stock may catapult that of Mike Evans with a good showing.

Group 4, 5, 6 Participants

QB Blake Bortles, UCF
QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
QB David Fales, San Jose State
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
QB Jeff Mathews, Cornell
QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama
QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU
QB Stephen Morris, Miami (FL)
QB Aaron Murray, Georgia
QB Bryn Renner, North Carolina
QB Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
QB Connor Shaw, South Carolina
QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
QB Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M
QB Keith Wenning, Ball State

RB Antonio Andrews Western Kentucky
RB Dri Archer Kent State
RB George Atkinson Notre Dame
RB Kapri Bibbs Colorado State
RB Alfred Blue LSU
RB Ka'deem Carey Arizona
RB J.C. Copeland LSU
RB Tim Cornett UNLV
RB Isaiah Crowell Alabama State
RB Timothy Flanders Sam Houston State
RB David Fluellen Toledo
RB Devonta Freeman Florida State
RB Tyler Gaffney Stanford
RB Marion Grice Arizona State
RB Ryan Hewitt Stanford
RB Jeremy Hill LSU
RB Carlos Hyde Ohio State
RB Storm Johnson UCF
RB Henry Josey Missouri
RB Tre Mason Auburn
RB Jerick McKinnon Georgia Southern
RB Trey Millard Oklahoma
RB Adam Muema San Diego State
RB Ladarius Perkins Mississippi State
RB Silas Redd USC
RB Bishop Sankey Washington
RB Lache Seastrunk Baylor
RB Charles Sims West Virginia
RB Jerome Smith Syracuse
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro Coastal Carolina
RB De'Anthony Thomas Oregon
RB Terrance West Towson
RB James White Wisconsin
RB James Wilder Florida State
RB Andre Williams Boston College
RB Damien Williams Oklahoma

WR Jared Abbrederis Wisconsin
WR Davante Adams Fresno State
WR Odell Beckham LSU
WR Kelvin Benjamin Florida State
WR Christopher Boyd Vanderbilt
WR Philly Brown Ohio State
WR John Brown Pittsburg State
WR Martavis Bryant Clemson
WR Isaiah Burse Fresno State
WR Michael Campanaro Wake Forest
WR Brandon Coleman Rutgers
WR Kain Colter Northwestern
WR Brandin Cooks Oregon State
WR Damian Copeland Louisville
WR Mike Davis Texas
WR Bruce Ellington South Carolina
WR Quincy Enunwa Nebraska
WR Mike Evans Texas A&M
WR Shaq Evans UCLA
WR Bennie Fowler Michigan State
WR Austin Franklin New Mexico State
WR Jeremy Gallon Michigan
WR Ryan Grant Tulane
WR Matt Hazel Coastal Carolina
WR Robert Herron Wyoming
WR Cody Hoffman BYU
WR Josh Huff Oregon
WR Allen Hurns Miami (FL)
WR Jeff Janis Saginaw Valley State
WR T.J. Jones Notre Dame
WR Jarvis Landry LSU
WR Cody Latimer Indiana
WR Marqise Lee USC
WR Marcus Lucas Missouri
WR Jordan Matthews Vanderbilt
WR Donte Moncrief Mississippi
WR Kevin Norwood Alabama
WR Walt Powell Murray State
WR Tevin Reese Baylor
WR Paul Richardson Colorado
WR Allen Robinson Penn State
WR Jalen Saunders Oklahoma
WR Willie Snead Ball State
WR Josh Stewart Oklahoma State
WR Devin Street Pittsburgh
WR L'Damian Washington Missouri
WR Sammy Watkins Clemson
WR Albert Wilson Georgia State

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