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49ers host Jonathan Cyprien; What does any of it all mean?

The 49ers hosted Jonathan Cyprien this weekend. What do these visits actually mean?


On Sunday afternoon, Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien tweeted out that he was leaving San Francisco, and headed off to Miami. Cyprien was expected to visit with the 49ers, although the date had previously been unknown.

We hear all about these meetings over the course of March and April, and yet we know very little about them. I'm hopefully going to have a chance to chat with Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins in the next few days, and I'm hoping to at least get a basic idea of what happened during his meeting with the 49ers. I don't expect to get specifics, but I am curious if it was a workout, dinner, a basic visit to the facility, or what exactly.

Ian Rapoport had an interesting article discussing how visits sometimes can work. Obviously some teams are more inclined to keep the media in the dark about their meetings. Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland was about as helpful as one would expect from a GM not looking to give too much away:

"There's no rhyme or reason. Some guys I have a lot of interest in, and some I guys I have no interest in at all, but there is really no rhyme or reason."

I recall that Robert Griffin III visited with the 49ers prior to last year's draft, and I believe Jim Harbaugh asked him something related to his recruitment to Stanford a few years prior. I can't find a specific link on it, but I remember that story circulating.

Rapoport made a good point about the value of visits for draft prospects with more questions marks. As of the publishing of Rapoport's article, Tyler Eifert had visited no NFL teams. On the other hand, Jonathan Cyprien had been making the rounds of numerous teams. Although teams do have scouting film on Cyprien, there is less content off the field, leaving teams to figure things out with these visits.

The 49ers have hosted or will host numerous players thus far. Matt Maiocco has the most recent list of visits, which includes six wide receivers, five tight ends, a running back, two offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, an inside linebacker, two cornerbacks, three safeties and a special teams player.

The team will host a local pro day on April 17, which will allow local players to show their stuff. Eligible players will include anybody who went to college in the Bay Area, as well as Bay Area residents who went to college outside the region. The 49ers are allowed 30 pre-draft visits, and the Pro Day does not count against that maximum.