With the San Francisco 49ers swinging a trade with the Cleveland Browns yesterday, they moved down 12 spots and into the fourth-round (No. 106) and grabbed diminutive but shifty WR Bruce Ellington. At 5-9 and 197 pounds, Ellington has the speed, agility, and athleticism to make a splash on special-teams for the Niners. In 2013, Ellington finished with 49 catches for 775 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while being a dual-threat in the return game with 43 kick returns for 977 return yards.
Baalke who was looking for a slot receiver via free-agency, was unable to land WR Julian Edelman and WR Emmanuel Sanders before finally settling on Ellington today. At the NFL scouting combine Ellington wowed scouts with his measurable as he ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, had a 39.5-inch vertical, 120-inch broad-jump, and 3.95 short shuttle.
And while Ellington’s measurables were among the top performers, it was his character that was the icing on the cake for Baalke. A high character player that is highly respected by his peers due to his tireless work ethic, you can be sure Ellington will be ready to compete in 2014. However, where does he fit in at the wide receiver position? The 49ers already have entrenched starters in WR Anquan Boldin and WR Michael Crabtree. And with WR Quinton Patton, WR Brandon Lloyd and newly acquired WR Stevie Johnson fighting for the No. 3 spot, that leaves Ellington as the primary return man, likely signaling the end of RB LaMichael James.