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Report: 49ers bring in Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker for official visit

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The 49ers need linebacker depth, and Baker would bring speed to the position.

The San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of their official pre-draft visits with prospects, and Friday brought a linebacker to town. The team had an official visit on Friday with Ohio State weak side linebacker Jerome Baker, according to Rotoworld’s Josh Norris.

Baker moved into the Buckeyes starting lineup at the WILL spot in 2016 after an injury to Dante Booker. He retained the role, and in 2017 finished the year with a team high 72 tackles (eight for a loss), to go along with 3.5 sacks and three pass breakups in 13 starts.

He ran a 4.53 40, and has the kind of coverage skills the 49ers would need out of their linebackers. Lance Zierlein projects him as a second or third round pick, questioning his instincts. An anonymous AFC defensive coach did not think he had enough “grit to his game,” and said there was “no dog” in him. Make of that what you will.

The 49ers currently would slot Malcolm Smith at WILL, Eli Harold at SAM, and Reuben Foster in the middle. There have been suggestions the 49ers look at Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds to add linebacker depth, but if the team went in another direction in the first round, Baker is a guy who could potentially add that needed depth.