Niners host four pre-draft visitors

The season of pre-draft visits began today with several prospects visiting the 49ers’ new-and-improved facility.

Among the first players to go through the doors of the team offices in Santa Clara were Tennessee running back Arian Foster and USC linebacker Rey Maualuga.

 

Maualuga was my “sleeper pick” for the 49ers on Feb. 22, before veteran Takeo Spikes was re-signed. I know the club really likes Maualuga, but is No. 10 too high? After all, they already have a No. 11 overall pick (Patrick Willis) playing inside linebacker.

 

Foster (6-1, 226) would be a mid-round pick, as the 49ers are looking for a bigger back to help share the load with Frank Gore. It’s a pretty good bet the 49ers will select a running back at some point. Is No. 10 too high to select Knowshon Moreno or “Beanie” Wells?

 

Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree and Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji are also scheduled to arrive in the South Bay today.

 

Crabtree is coming off surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot. The 49ers likely want to check to see how everything is coming along. Crabtree is an option at No. 10, but he is expected to be chosen before then. He is probably the only receiver the 49ers would take in the first round.

 

Likewise, Raji might also be gone by the time the 49ers select (though I just saw where NFLdraftscout’s Rob Rang, in his most recent mock draft, has the 49ers selecting him with the 10th pick). There was a recent Sports Illustrated report that Raji tested positive for an unspecified drug at the NFL scouting combine, so I’m sure the 49ers will have a question or two on that topic.

 

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Keena Turner, the 49ers’ vice president of football affairs, just led me on a tour of the remodeled interior of the building at 4949 Centennial Boulevard in Santa Clara. The 49ers have remodeled the weight room and expanded meeting rooms for the offensive and defensive lines. The club has additional plans to knock down a wall to expand the locker room. Also, the players’ lounge will be expanded, and a new kitchen area will be installed. I’ll write more about this later in the week.

 

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