Good morning folks, and a happy Thursday to you. Unfortunately, I’m at the tail end of being sick, and will hence try to keep this short. I know, I know, I feel for y’all, my disjointed rambling is clearly the proverbial Folgers in your cup - but a man needs to get back to his blanket fort.
So, the offseason lull is about to be violently awoken in the coming days. The NFL combine begins next Tuesday (February 26th), in what should be one of the more interesting player scouting expositions in recent years. I’ve harped on it before, but the top-heavy WR crop this year has been fairly dense in pre-combine scouting, as game film has been very good on all of the top prospects. However, there exists questions about the long speed of some, and the short-area quickness of others, meaning that the upcoming speed & agility tests will serve to immediately sift out much of the uncertainty and form a hierarchy in the 2019 WR class.
Fortunately for the 49ers, this may give them the opportunity to solidify certain plans. It’s mildly unlikely that the combine creates meaningful separation between the likely top edge rushers, Nick Bosa and Josh Allen. At this point, it’s a virtual certainty that one of these two will be taken at the #2 overall pick by the 49ers, save a blockbuster trade-down. However, one of the other major areas for concern for the team has been the WR corps. The patchwork unit has been justified with the euphemism “scheme fit players” throughout the duration of the Shanahan regime, and many fans hope that this is the year that a marquee player is added at the position.
As the group of WRs at the top of the draft settle into various regions of the big boards, the 49ers may find themselves the beneficiary of a talented player who may fall to them at the top of the second round, or they may find themselves in a position to move around and still get their guy. Most likely, however, is that the upcoming combine provides the impetus to make the decision whether or not to go after Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr., two top NFL WRs that have been connected to the 49ers for months. To wrap it up, the combine (which starts next week) will probably be headlined by the densely-packed edge rushers at the top of the heap, but the real value will be seeing what the WRs do.
Kiper thinks 49ers go with Josh Allen | Branch, SF Chronicle
Top free agent pass rushers | Reiner, PFF
Trent Taylor excited to work with Wes Welker | Chan, NBC Sports Bay Area
Antonio Brown & his agent are unable to speak with other teams | Madson, Ninerswire
Does Antonio Brown fit Kyle Shanahan’s system? | Biderman, Sac Bee
Trading for Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t make sense for 49ers | Cavalieri, KNBR
49ers Mailbag | Biderman, Sac Bee