SANTA CLARA — The 49ers just drafted Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd with the third pick in Round 3. Let’s break down the positives and negatives of this pick.
- Tall (6’4″) and explosive (35.5″ vertical jump).
- Potential to become a receiving threat in the red zone.
- Experience playing running back (rushed for 2,844 yards and 23 touchdowns in college).
- Only one year of experience at wide receiver.
- Poor hands (nine drops in 2018).
- Rudimentary route-runner.
- Slow (4.66 40-yard dash).
- Tweener. Doesn’t have a true position. A slot-receiver-running-back-tight-end hybrid.
- Redundant after taking a wide receiver in Round 2. Doesn’t address the needs in the secondary.
- Lack of durability (concussion in 2016 which caused him to switch from running back to wide receiver. Also had two shoulder surgeries, plus a knee surgery last December. Still recovering from the knee surgery).
The 49ers continue their pattern of taking players and changing their positions. In 2017, they took Solomon Thomas, a defensive tackle, and made him a defensive end. In 2018, they took Tarvarius Moore, a safety, and made him a cornerback. And now, they take Hurd, a running back, and are making him a wide receiver. Or a tight end. The 49ers aren’t really sure. Hurd is a project, and a luxury for a team that has serious needs in the defensive backfield. He could become a weapon in the red zone if he stays healthy and improves as a receiver. Otherwise, this pick is a waste. The 49ers should have taken Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean instead.