49er Draft Highlights

Posted: April 30, 2011 in 2011 Draft, 49ers, Pro Football
Tags: , , , , ,

After making waves in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft by trading up to select University of Nevada quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers GM, Trent Baalke, and HC, Jim Harbaugh, looked to add players with “versatility” in the later rounds.

The 49ers bolstered their roster with Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter and University of Southern California WR Ronald Johnson.  Both players look to bring added value to the offense and in the kick return game, fitting directly into the category that Baalke and Harbaugh are looking for.

The first of the two picks came in the 4th round when the 49ers selected Hunter.  A promising replacement pick for free agent Bryan Westbrook, Hunter adds some much needed depth behind the aging but still productive (and recently, oft-injured) Frank Gore.  A Big-12 Conference standout, Hunter finished fifth in conference history with 4,181 rushing yards, earning more yards rushing than former OSU Cowboy and Detroit Lions Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders.

Baalke said the 49ers envision Hunter as a “four-down contributor,” who gives the team another option in the kick return game.

In the 6th round the 49ers picked up a solid WR in Johnson.  The WR and Kick Returner looks to be a great fit for the team and should need little time getting comfortable with the coaching staff.  49ers WR’s coach, John Morton, was Johnson’s collegiate coach at USC.  Johnson is a good football player who’s potential has yet to be reached.  He stays low in his breaks, runs precise routes, plays with enthusiasm and should push Josh Morgan and Tedd Ginn for significant playing time early, both offensively and on special teams.

Johnson’s best day receiving for the 2010 season came against Washington when he hauled in 6 passes for 109 yards.  One of his more spectacular plays though came in a game against Hawaii when he fielded a punt, broke a tackle and raced down the sideline on his way to a 3 TD performance on the day.

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