49ers select Jacob Cowing with the No. 135 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

With the final draft pick in the fourth round, the 49ers added a very different type of receiver to their weaponry.
Valero Alamo Bowl - Arizona v Oklahoma
Valero Alamo Bowl - Arizona v Oklahoma / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The third of three rapid-fire fourth-round picks for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2024 NFL Draft proved to be a little echo of night one, as they picked up another young talent for their receiver room.

This player went against the usual grain of the Niners' receiver choices, as they went with 5-foot-eight, 168-pound wideout Jacob Cowing from Arizona.

Cowing didn't just lead his team last year, but set a school record with 13 touchdowns, coming off 90 receptions for 848 yards. He accumulated four years of starting experience over his college career, playing his first three years at UTEP, where he was named first-team All-Conference USA in 2021, amassing a staggering 1,354 receiving yards on 69 catches.

What Cowing lacks in size, he makes up for in speed, running a blazing 4.38 40-yard time at the combine, as well as a sudden 1.54 10-yard split, making him fast in short areas as well as on deeper routes, seemingly making him an ideal fit for a Kyle Shanahan scheme. Cowing is a little unpolished in route running and will likely need to hit the weight room to survive in the NFL, but he has the feel of an overachiever, not unlike Jauan Jennings, who will compete and work hard on every snap.

It will likely be an uphill battle to get any starting time, especially considering behemoths like Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and the aforementioned Jennings vying for playing time in front of him (and that's without mentioning first-round choice Ricky Pearsall), but what Cowing does provide is something unique: his size and elusiveness is something very different to the rest of the receivers on the roster, and he gives another potential option in the slot, a position only Jennings has been able to man for the last couple of years.

Cowing will likely have to beat out Ronnie Bell and veteran Chris Conley for playing time, but if he can do that, the uncertain futures of the 49ers' top trio at his position could well set him up for long-term success.

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