In perhaps the least-shocking news of the NFL draft season, the 49ers have met with Jerry Rice’s son Brenden at the NFL combine. Rice told reporters about the meeting at his combine press conference.

Prior to entering the NFL draft, the younger Rice spent four years in college including two at Colorado and two at USC. His final two seasons, which he spent with the Trojans, were his best.

Rice at Colorado posted 419 yards and five touchdowns on 27 catches in 17 games. At USC he saw those numbers jump to 39 receptions for 611 yards and four touchdowns in his first season. His second and final season was his best though when he put up 791 yards and 12 touchdowns on 45 catches.

The low reception totals and high touchdown totals are indicative of the type of prospect Rice is. He’s a big-bodied (6-2, 212 pounds) receiver who doesn’t create enough separation to earn consistent targets. On the other hand, he has enough athleticism to take the top off a defense and is good enough in contested catch situations to be a consistent red zone threat.

“Man, I was ecstatic just to go ahead and go back and forth with some of the topics,” Rice said. “How I can get better, how I can contribute to the 49ers’ team, and just be a part of what my dad left a legacy at.”

Whether Rice is ultimately a fit for the 49ers’ receiving corps will depend on whether the team’s front office and coaching staff believe he can eventually develop into a a more dynamic pass-catching option. If that’s the belief in their building, and if they think he’ll be a good enough blocker to be on the field on any down and distance, we could see another Rice in red and gold in 2024.

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