San Francisco 49ers: Martavis Bryant

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- There was heavy speculation the San Francisco 49ers would trade up in the first round for a receiver.

They ended up addressing their biggest need -- the nickel cornerback -- with Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward at No. 30.

With a deep receiver class, the 49ers -- who have five of the 68 picks Friday, the most in the NFL -- they should be able to get a receiver. It wouldn't be a shock if they moved up from No. 56 to get a receiver.

The best receivers available include Indiana's Cody Latimer, USC's Marqise Lee, Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews, LSU's Jarvis Landry, Fresno State's Davante Adams, Penn State's Allen Robinson and Clemson's Martavis Bryant.
It’s apparent the San Francisco 49ers are possibly interested in drafting a player coming off a major injury again.

Former Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin told Sirius XM Radio that he will visit the 49ers this week. Colvin tore the ACL in his knee during Senior Bowl week in January, but he could be ready to play toward the end of the season.

The 49ers have shown they are willing to wait for a good player, even if he's injured. Last year, they drafted defensive lineman Cornellius "Tank" Carradine in the second round and running back Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round after both had suffered ACL injuries.

However, drafting Colvin may come with more overall injury risk than Carradine and Lattimore. ESPN draft analyst Steve Muench said Colvin is a talented player, but his injury history is worrisome. Colvin missed almost all of the 2011 season with a shoulder injury. Muench also points out Colvin's weight -- he was listed at 192 pounds at Oklahoma, but weighed 177 at the combine.

“If he can regain the weight once he’s healthy and can stay healthy, he’s got the tools to be an effective No. 3 corner,” Muench said. “He’d see the field a lot with how often teams line up with three or more receivers. He’s instinctive, he has above average cover skills and he tackles well.”

Muench said Scouts Inc. had Colvin rated as an early third-round pick prior to his injury. Now, the group has him as an early fourth-round pick. The 49ers will likely add multiple cornerbacks and with a surplus of picks, they may feel like they can take a flier on Colvin.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee reported the 49ers will visit with several rookie prospects this week including Clemson speed receiver Martavis Bryant. He could be a target in the second round.
It’s no secret that the San Francisco 49ers are a strong candidate to draft a wide receiver early.

The position is one of the team’s few needs. They have looked at receivers throughout free agency, and there was a report that the team was trying to arrange a visit with receiver DeSean Jackson, who is, by far, was the best receiver currently on the market beofre he signed with Washington late Tuesday night.

So, it’s not a surprise that, in this Insider piece, ESPN draft analyst Kevin Weidl identifies the 49ers Insider as one of the teams who most need to address the receiver position in the draft. Here is what Weidl had to say about the 49ers’ needs:
[+] EnlargeMartavis Bryant
Tyler Smith/Getty ImagesThe 49ers would offer a low-pressure environment for Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant.
The Niners were able to work out a two-year deal to keep WR Anquan Boldin in San Francisco. Combined with Michael Crabtree, San Francisco has a pair of strong, reliable pass-catchers on the perimeter. However, there is a need to add a receiver who can pose a legitimate vertical threat outside the hashes. This not only would take pressure off Boldin and Crabtree but also free up TE Vernon Davis, who is one of the top pass-catchers at the position in the league.

With six picks within the top 100, general manager Trent Baalke will have plenty of draft options in May. Baalke can address the depth along the defensive line or take a cornerback with the 30th pick in the first round and still have plenty of ammunition to find a receiver on Day 2.

San Francisco has three picks in the third round, and Clemson's Martavis Bryant is an intriguing fit at that point. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound receiver has a loose, flexible frame and the speed to stretch the field vertically. He wasn't an ideal fit within Clemson's offense, has dealt with drops and comes with some immaturity concerns. However, his flashes on tape and upside are hard to ignore.

I've said for a few months that Bryant compares favorably to the late Chris Henry, who was a receiver for the Bengals. Much like Henry, who was a vertical complement to Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the late 2000s, Bryant could serve in a similar role to Boldin and Crabtree.

This would be an ideal situation for Bryant to land. He won't have the pressure of stepping in as a No. 2 receiver right away, which could end in him disappointing a team that drafts him earlier with those types of expectations. In this scenario, Bryant would have time to develop and mature while providing strong-armed quarterback Colin Kaepernick with a vertical threat on the perimeter.

Other Day 2 options for San Francisco could include Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin (should he fall), Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews and Rutgers' Brandon Coleman, who currently sits with a fringe Day 2 grade.

Weidl is right. The position is stacked and the 49ers have options. Somewhere early, they will be able to address the position. In another Insider piece, Todd McShay looks at some draft prospects who could fit on the 49ers’ defensive line. Insider