That’s right. You’re not going to see some of the top-heralded wide receiver prospects on this list — names like Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown or Ole Miss’ D.K. Metcalf.
Metcalf nearly tore up every NFL Scouting Combine drill, aside from those for agility, which probably puts him out of range between the 49ers’ top pick, No. 2 overall, and their second-round selection.
But Metcalf’s collegiate teammate, A.J. Brown, could feasibly be in play early in Round 2 depending on how teams view other receiving prospects and their own roster needs. If that wasn’t the case, the Niners wouldn’t have wasted one of their interviews on Brown.
Brown’s collegiate production is there, too, of course:
And his 6-foot-0, 226-pound frame checks off a lot of the boxes the 49ers will look at for a Z-type receiver, who can double in the slot. While his size doesn’t exemplify a solid red-zone target, Brown’s route running and footwork are among the best in this year’s class. That alone should earn him consideration from Kyle Shanahan.
Brown ran a 4.49 40-yard time at the NFL Scouting Combine, and there are a few positional big boards listing Brown as this year’s top wide receiver prospect.
It might be a stretch to see Brown slip into Round 2. If it happens, or if the Niners see a reason to trade back into the first round, envisioning the Ole Miss talent in a 49ers uniform this upcoming year wouldn’t be out of reality.
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25 from Nashville, Tennessee.