5 draftees who rose up 49ers big board at NFL Combine

Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Calvin Austin III, Memphis Tigers
Calvin Austin III #WO01 of the Memphis (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Wide Receiver. Tigers . Calvin Austin III. 1. player. 858.

49ers prospect No. 1: WR Calvin Austin III, Memphis

Yes, the Niners would love to get their hands on Christian Watson if they could, but they likely can’t.

However, providing Trey Lance with as many weapons as possible entering 2022 is going to be a priority nonetheless, and ensuring San Francisco has depth behind wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk will be vital.

What’s needed, though, is a deep threat who can stretch the field in a big way, and few epitomize that capability more than Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III, who is simply explosive once he gets the ball in his hands.

At only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Austin had to perform well at the NFL Combine to convince teams his upside was worth taking the risk on a player whose physique might not be enough to withstand the rigors of life at the NFL level.

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Well, that’s what Austin did.

His 4.32 40-yard time? Absolutely electrifying. His 135-inch broad jump? Awesome. His 6.65 three-cone drill? More than solid.

Of course, strength and size will be challenging for him. But he made up for it with exceptional test results in the areas where he should be expected to shine.

And that’ll make him much more attractive now to a team like the 49ers.

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