The second tier: Four wide receivers the Niners could draft in the first round

A few days ago I wrote a blog listing the free agent wide receivers who could fit into the 49ers’ budget this offseason.

I put Pierre Garçon was on that list, and then he turned down a five-year contract from the Colts. He may not have belonged on that list, after all. He’s going to get a lot of money in free agency, more than the Niners are willing to pay, most likely.

The Niners can probably draft a better receiver than Garçon in the first round with the 30th pick, anyway, and for cheaper.

The top three receivers, Justin Blackmon (6-1, 207), Kendall Wright (5-10, 196) and Michael Floyd (6-3, 220), won’t be available. They’re top-20 picks.

The Niners can choose from the second tier of wide receivers: Rueben Randle (6-3, 210), Alshon Jeffery (6-3, 216), Mohamed Sanu (6-2, 211), and Stephen Hill (6-4, 215).

Receivers run 40-yard dashes tomorrow at the Combine. Of the four who are in the second tier, the one who runs the fastest could conceivably be the guy the Niners end up drafting. They need a fast receiver that badly.

Alshon Jeffery is probably the slowest, but if he runs at 4.5, that’s not slow. He’s got giant hands, long arms, and he can jump high. He’s the best red-zone target of these four receivers. He caught 23 TDs in his three-year college career at the University of South Carolina.

Stephen Hill is the tallest and he might be the fastest, too. But he’s only produced big numbers in four games of his three-year college career at Georgia Tech.

Mohamed Sanu is the quickest, but he’s not especially fast. He didn’t catch a pass for longer than 35 yards his final two seasons at Rutgers. He seems like more of a possession receiver than a big-play receiver. The Niners need a big-play receiver. Sanu needs to run well on Suday.

Rueben Randle is a big-play receiver – he mostly just ran deep for LSU. He was the No. 2 ranked prospect coming out of high school in 2009 according to, who described Randle as “a cross between A.J. Green and Julio Jones.” Randle will have to run a 4.4 on Sunday to warrant such a comparison.

Pay extra close attention to these four receivers Sunday at the combine. One of them could be a future 49er.

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