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Golden Nuggets: Exploring Options

A daily compilation of 49ers news around the net. Monday, February 11th, 2019 edition.

Iowa v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Good morning folks, and a happy Monday to you. It was another very quiet day in the 49ers media, so all I’ve got for you today is a handful of prognostications and best case scenarios.

Earl Thomas

The all-world safety will turn 30 before the 2019 season and is coming off an injury-shortened seasoned (fractured leg). It’s hard to believe that he has more than a couple years left in him before age catches up, and he’s expressed a desire to play for the Cowboys. Should Richard Sherman be able to successfully recruit him here, and a reasonable contract (3 years, 30 million, 12 million signing bonus?) be agreed upon, he would certainly stabilize a shaky 49ers secondary that hasn’t been able to find a steady presence at safety. Furthermore, his presence could do wonders for Jaquiski Tartt, allowing him to play a true strong or moneybacker role, like Kam Chancellor was able to do so well in Seattle.

TJ Hockenson

The Iowa TE is a monster in the receiving game and a competent blocker, just like his predecessor George Kittle. The problem, however, is that he’s very unlikely to reach the 49ers second-round pick, and I can’t envision a scenario in which the 49ers trade up into the back of the first round to take him. If they did, however, they would have one of the most devastating TE combos in recent memory, one that would likely make the patchwork WR corps look much better on the perimeters.

Antonio Brown

This saga has taken some interesting twists and turns over the past month. Brown has expressed deep dissatisfaction with the Steelers organization, has openly displayed a desire to play for the 49ers, and is now being investigated by the NFL for a domestic disturbance. Once expected to have a first round pricetag in trade, most sports pundits now tend to agree that he’s worth a 3rd day pick at best. Would the Steelers be willing to risk another LeVeon Bell holdout, or would the 49ers sixth round pick suffice? Brown will turn 31 this season, and one must wonder if his salary will overshadow his ability as he gets up there in age.

Kyler Murray

Now we know it’s the offseason. Kyler Murray had an incredible season that led to a Heisman trophy, and he’s been drafted highly in the MLB. There’s good reason to believe that if he wasn’t 5’9”, he’d be pushing for the first overall pick. Look, there are short QBs around the league. Seattle has one, New Orleans has one, and they do pretty well. Doug Flutie was 5’10” and had outstanding college and CFL careers. Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann, and Michael Vick were all vertically challenged but successful as well. Kyler Murray, however, would be the shortest QB to play in the NFL in the last 50 years or so.

Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area hopes that a monstrous combine in which Murray puts his speed on display could push him to the top of the draft, thus increasing the value of the 49ers’ pick (or shot at Nick Bosa). I’ve tried to stay positive and keep the glass half full with a lot of these projections, but I just can’t see this one happening. Even if he does rip off the sub-4.4 40 that he’s rumored to possess, I can’t see him getting drafted in the top 30 or so.

Free agency targets: Earl Thomas | Panacy, Niner Noise

Draft targets: TJ Hockenson | Wohlfart, Niner Noise

Trade down scenarios | Panacy, Niner Noise

Could Antonio Brown be had for a sixth rounder? | NBC Sports Bay Area Staff

Could Kyler Murray push his way to the top of the draft? | Johnson, NBC Sports Bay Area