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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Rating the 49ers' most athletic players

By Mike Sando


NEW ORLEANS -- ESPN.com's Dan Graziano had some fun asking San Francisco 49ers players to name the best athletes on the team.

Aldon Smith went with ... Aldon Smith.

That came as no surprise to me. In an effort to loosen up Smith during Super Bowl media day, I had independently asked him to organize an imaginary track meet featuring the 49ers' fastest players. Smith played along.

"How many lanes are there, five?" he asked.

As many as he wanted, I replied.

"I'm in lane one, Ted Ginn is in lane two, LaMichael James is in lane three," Smith said.

Helpful as ever, I suggested quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has three runs of at least 50 yards this season, tied for second-most in the NFL.

"Colin is not in the race," Smith said, before reconsidering. "He might be in lane four. Lane five might be Vernon Davis."

And the winner would be?

"Ted Ginn is probably finishing first," Smith said.

Ginn would definitely finish first, in my view. This fun little exercise highlights one area where I think the 49ers have an advantage over the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII: team speed.

Ravens receiver Torrey Smith could be an equalizer for Baltimore, however.