As the San Francisco 49ers prepare their draft board for the upcoming NFL Draft, they must first do their due diligence with pre-draft visits. Each NFL team is allowed up to 30 visits from college prospects before the draft. The 49ers looking to bolster the wide receiver and safety positions may have tipped their hand with two players they have targeted in, West Virginia’s wide receiver Tavon Austin and safety Jonathan Cyprien. Both of those players have been heavily linked to San Francisco, so the fact that both of them are scheduled for visits should come as no surprise.
I am a firm believer that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and if that holds true, the 49ers are clearly in the market for a wide receiver and safety. Since GM Trent Baalke took over the scouting department, six of seven first or second-round draft picks ended up making the trip to Santa Clara for pre-draft visits. RB LaMichael James was the exception. Furthermore, both Austin and Cyprien have the skill-set to thrive in the red and gold. The 49ers love to run the pistol formation and Austin would be an ideal fit in that scheme. He would also provide great value in the return game, since WR Ted Ginn Jr., departed for the Carolina Panthers.
Cyprien is another player that Baalke covets. If the past is any indication, Baalke has no concerns in drafting a player from a small school, evident by drafting All-Pro G Mike Iupati out of Idaho in 2010, and Cyprien is no exception. Cyprien is a hard-hitting safety out of Florida International University who has quickly risen up draft boards. He had a strong Senior Bowl and solid NFL combine by showing off his hops with a 38.5 inch vertical.
With both players scheduled for visits, it will be interesting if the 49ers will trade up for one of those prospects as they have 14 draft picks at their disposal.