San Francisco 49ers: Antone Exum

Weekend mail call:

Joey from Vernal, Utah, wants to know if I think the 49ers should go after a bigger receiver as opposed to a smaller speed receiver.

Bill Williamson: I have no problem with that. I don’t get too caught up in types of receivers. I like good receivers, that’s the only the requirement I’m looking for in a receiver. If he is good, he can help. In the end, it doesn’t matter what type even though the 49ers lack a true burner at the position.

Mark from Palm Harbor, Fla., wants to know if I think the 49ers could use their surplus of draft picks to pick an injured player for the future as they did with Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore last year.

BW: We addressed that subject earlier in the offseason with ESPN draft analyst Steve Muench. There doesn’t appear to be any big-league player who is hurt like Lattimore and Carradine were last season. But there are a few possibilities the 49ers could consider such as Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum, Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley and even Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Craig from Suisun City, Calif., wants to know if think the 49ers can draft a quarterback who is a better prospect than B.J. Daniels, who they drafted in the seventh round and later cut last year.

BW: I’d think so, yes. There are some decent quarterback prospects in the mid rounds. The 49ers cut Daniels because they didn’t feel like he had big potential. He was taken in the last round and they ended up not wanting to move on. I don’t look at it as a huge missed opportunity.
Last year, the San Francisco 49ers took advantage of a surplus of picks and were able to take injured standout players Tank Carradine (second round) and Marcus Lattimore (fourth round) with an eye on the future. Both players missed the 2013 season, but the team is counting on Carradine, a defensive tackle, and Lattimore, a running back, to contribute in 2014.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the 49ers -- with few immediate needs and a projected 12 draft picks -- to again show interest in injured players to develop. But unlike last year's draft, there aren't many top rated players recovering from an injury this year.

The best prospect coming off an injury may be Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley. He was a first-round talent, but had a torn ACL. He is now projected as a late-second or early-third round pick, according to ESPN draft analyst Steve Muench.

Muench said Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum (the position is one of the 49ers’ top needs) could be a mid-round steal. He is coming off a knee injury that kept him out of most of last season.

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is coming off a torn ACL that will affect his draft status. But Muench said he doubts he is a fit for the 49ers, which may be looking in the draft for a quarterback to groom as a backup.

Still, as we learned last year, the 49ers will not be swayed by injury. They are willing to wait for the right player.

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