Son of 49ers all-time great can follow in dad's footsteps at NFL Draft

The son of the greatest wide receiver in NFL history could follow in his father's footsteps if he is drafted by the 49ers in the NFL Draft.

USC Spring Football Game
USC Spring Football Game / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

The son of San Francisco 49ers all-time great wide receiver Jerry Rice will be available in this year's NFL Draft.

Brenden Rice played in college at Colorado and USC as a wide receiver, and if he is drafted by the 49ers he could follow in his father's footsteps in the NFL.

Son of 49ers all-time great can follow in Jerry Rice's footsteps at NFL Draft

The younger Rice put up solid numbers in his college tenure. In his collegiate career he had 111 receptions for 1,821 yards and 21 touchdowns. His best numbers came in his senior year at USC in which he racked up 45 receptions for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns. His solid final year in southern California definitely boosted his draft stock.

It seems unlikely that Rice would be taken in the first few rounds, but he definitely seems like he could be a good mid or late round draft pick.

The video below is a collection of his highlights from his senior year.

Based on the highlights, it seems like there is not much that Rice cannot do. He can run the deep route, break tackles after catching screens, run routes that confuse defenders, and bring down contested catches.

However, Ian Cummings at Pro Football Network identified some of Rice's weaknesses. He points out that Rice was more of a vertical threat rather than a guy who can get yards after the catch which is something the 49ers usually prize in their receivers. He also noted that Rice could be inconsistent from week to week at USC.

Perhaps Rice could be a deep threat for the 49ers who do not always throw it deep but may want to every now and then to keep opposing defenses honest and on their toes. Plus, Rice showed that he is great at improvising with Caleb Williams at quarterback while he was at USC and we saw Brock Purdy make plenty of off-schedule improvised plays downfield last season.

The wide receiver position could also be a need for the 49ers depending on how the offseason progresses. Jauan Jennings, Chris Conley, and Ray Ray McCloud are all free agents so if the 49ers lose one or more of them it could make sense to draft a wide receiver.

The 49ers should not be overzealous with Rice and draft him just because his dad is the greatest receiver of all-time and is a 49ers legend. However, if they are smart and he is still available in the mid-to-late rounds, how cool would it be to draft Rice and have him follow in his father's footsteps while at the same time addressing a roster need.

On the surface it may seem like a nostalgia play, but the 49ers drafting Brenden Rice could be a move that provides both nostalgia and value as the Niners head into the 2024 season.

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