NFL: Combine
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Could the 49ers make a surprise selection with a receiver in the first round?

The San Francisco 49ers have a wide receiver dilemma entering the offseason, as they’re in need of depth, while their future situation could get cloudy as Brandon Aiyuk enters extension talks with the franchise.

With Aiyuk potentially earning an extension, there are questions as to whether San Francisco can keep both him and Deebo Samuel long-term, leaving questions as to what their receiver room will look like in the future.

A potential solution could be to add depth at one point in the 2024 NFL Draft, and that may even come early as the 49ers hosted a formal meeting with LSU Tigers wideout Brian Thomas Jr. at the combine.

Thomas Jr., seen as a projected first-round selection, stands at 6’4, 210 pounds and possesses high-end speed and good releases to win reps.

When speaking with the LSU receiver on Friday, Thomas told me that he took a formal visit with the 49ers at the combine, which was intriguing, given his projected spot in the draft and San Francisco’s other interests across the board.

Thomas is fond of the 49ers system and would love the opportunity to be apart of the receiver room, should that be his final destination.

“It would be great, just being able to learn from those type of guys [such as Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel],” Thomas said to me. “Being with them, being in the system for a couple of years, I would say it would be great.”

During his visit with the 49ers, Thomas primarily broke down his LSU film with the team and got to speak with the team’s brass, including head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, who seemed very detailed and honest in the meeting.

“[During my visit], we were just going over my tape from LSU, going over plays that we went through, going over the little things,” Thomas said. “They (the 49ers staff) were very honest. Very detailed.”

The visit sparks an intriguing conversation as the 49ers seem to be doing their due diligence on some of the top receivers, with Thomas’s being the most high-profile thus far.

Now, while some may assume that taking a receiver at No. 31 would suggest a potential trade for top wideout Brandon Aiyuk, Thomas would actually be a good complement to the 49ers receiver, as his skillset could open up different opportunities for Aiyuk to thrive as an all-around player.

Thomas has good ball skills, and his skillset makes sense for the 49ers’ downfield attack, providing defenses with two different outside wideouts that can consistently challenge man coverage schemes.

It seems extremely unlikely that the wideout would be available at No. 31, however, given how several teams are receiver-needy and that there’s a drop-off after the top three options, who are all projected Top 10 selections.

Still, it’s noteworthy that the 49ers are doing their research with a formal visit on a player of Thomas’s caliber at receiver.

Elsewhere, the 49ers also hosted Xavier Leggette, Xavier Worthy, Troy Franklin, and Jalen McMillan, who are all projected second-round picks, on formal visits at the combine.

Rather than focusing on receivers projected in the middle rounds of the draft (only USC’s Brendan Rice earned a formal interview), it seems the 49ers are very intrigued by some of the top receivers in the class.

Read More

About the Author: Insidethe49

Insidethe49 Site Staff

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!