Why 49ers’ Trent Baalke will likely target WR with versatility

Carlos Avila Gonazles, The Chronicle

Carlos Avila Gonazles, The Chronicle

If the past is any indication of the future then San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke will likely target a wide receiver with return ability. Baalke covets players with versatility and two players they have been highly linked to include WR Brandin Cooks and WR Odell Beckham Jr

Cooks a player that I have been extremely high on as I’m on record of having the 49ers trading up and selecting him in the first-round, has the speed, athleticism, and savvy route-running that will make him an ideal No. 3 option. And with the 49ers rumored to have interest in WR Julian Edelman (New England Patriots), WR Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos), and WR DeSean Jackson (Washington Redskins) via free-agency, I think it’s safe to say that Cooks will be high on their Big Board.

And what about the “other” receiver? Bend it like Beckham, make no mistake, Beckham Jr. has been sky-rocketing up draft boards as I guarantee he will be in the mix as a top tier wide receiver after his LSU Pro Day on January 9. Another player that adds value in the return game, Beckham Jr. can change the fortunes of a game with one electrifying return. A true blazer that played in the best college football conference in the SEC, Beckham Jr. held his own.

So how much interest have the 49ers shown in these two prospect? Despite both of these players not receiving pre-draft visits, that’s a good sign as the 49ers do not bring in first-round draft picks for a PDV, as the last player to do so was WR A.J. Jenkins. In addition, with Senior Personnel Assistant Ethan Waugh on hand for Cooks’ Pro Day as he was for Jenkins, that’s a really strong indicator that Cooks likely has a gold helmet next to his name. And with Beckham Jr., likely to create a lot of noise with his upcoming Pro Day, expect National Scout Justin Chabot to be on hand just like he was with last year’s first-round pick FS Eric Reid.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.