2024 NFL Combine standouts the 49ers can't allow to become draft busts

Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins at the NFL Combine
Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins at the NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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The 49ers need to exercise caution if they're targeting one of these NFL Combine standouts who may end up flopping at the pro level.

In 2017, Washington wide receiver John Ross wowed the entire football world when he set an NFL Scouting Combine record for the 40-yard dash by running a blazing 4.22 time.

That translated over into him being selected ninth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in that year's NFL Draft.

Three years later, Tennessee wideout Jauan Jennings ran a sluggish 4.72 40-yard time that led to him being selected in Round 7 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Which player has had the better NFL career?

The combine can make or break a player's draft stock, yes. But, in some cases, players who underwhelm at the NFL Combine end up being superstars despite not being the best "workout darlings," Ross being a perfect example after a career that quickly flamed out after just five unimpressive seasons.

It's the latter category of players the Niners need to avoid during the 2024 NFL Draft, and these five prospects who performed well at the combine could easily turn into busts at the next level.

No. 5: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

San Francisco needs a cornerback in this year's draft, and there are plenty of first- and mid-round prospects general manager John Lynch could target.

It's not likely Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins slips to the 49ers' first pick at No. 31 overall. Certainly not after he ran his own blazing-fast 40-yard dash at 4.28 seconds. That'll potentially push him into the teens as far as where he'll end up getting drafted this April.

That's a blessing for the Niners, though.

Assuming Wiggins either slips, or San Francisco trades up, Wiggins' speed can't overcome the fact he's 6-foot-1 but only 173 pounds. While there's room for some functional weight on his frame, the hard reality is he's going to have a tough time with physicality at the next level.

Considering most scouting reports on him describe a general lack of aggressiveness, not being able to boast the physical strength to match up with bigger, stronger wide receivers could be a serious detriment to his career.