2019 NFL Draft: 49ers round out class by selecting CB Tim Harris

2019 NFL Draft: 49ers round out class by selecting CB Tim Harris

With the 49ers’ eighth and final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the club addressed their defensive backfield with the selection of Virginia’s Tim Harris.

The 49ers appear content with their cornerbacks: Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore.

The 49ers did not add to their group of safeties, a collection that includes Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, Marcell Harris, Antone Exum and D.J. Reed.

Here’s more about Harris and what he brings to the 49ers:

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Tim Harris

Position: Cornerback
College: Virginia
Height: 6-2
Weight: 197
Selection: Sixth round (No. 198 overall)

Scouting report

He had an injury-plagued college career, missing most of two seasons with injuries. He played two games in 2016 (dislocated shoulder) and one game in 2017 (fractured wrist). But he came back last season to start in eight of 13 games and recorded 36 tackles with two interceptions and four passes broken up.

“Harris has rare size, speed and explosiveness traits that could make him a coveted priority free agent, but his injury history, modest ball production and inability to match play to the traits are likely to leave him undrafted. There are physical check marks in his favor, but he will need to play a much more instinctive brand of football to cover NFL receivers,” according to Lance Zierlein on NFL.com.

He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but at his pro day, he had a 39-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot-7 broad jump. He ran 4.45 40-yard dash.

Projected role

The 49ers feel a lot better about their defensive backfield than a lot of pundits, but the club finally addressed cornerback with their final pick in the draft. Harris, whom the 49ers view exclusively as a cornerback, was brough to Santa Clara for one of the team's pre-draft visits.

He may have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, but the 49ers believe his size and physical tools give him a chance to develop. The most likely route would be for him to work his way into a spot on the practice squad so he has time to refine his technique to see if he can be a contributor down the road.

What they’re saying

"Tim Harris, very talented football player, and we felt very good about him and felt like having a, you just can't have enough good corners. So providing competition, athleticism, and he is a profile fit. We aren't married to that profile, but he certainly has that profile at 6-2, 200, and a kid who can run at 4.43" -- 49ers GM John Lynch.

“We were comfortable with the person and loved the talent, and we jumped at it” – Lynch.

"That was a huge setback for me, and made me wonder where did I want to go with this whole football thing. I got a chance to come back for a sixth year, which was something I really wanted to do, because there was still a lot of things I wanted to accomplish at the University of Virginia. The time I had off really made me cherish how much I love football and how much I wanted to get back on the field” – Harris on his fractured wrist in 2017 in recent interview with The Eagles Wire.

”Anything they want me to do, I’ll come in and do it. If it’s just special teams, then let it be special teams. If it’s playing corner, I’ll play corner — if it’s playing safety, I’ll play safety. One thing I have to say, if I come into any team, I’m going to be dedicated no matter what the situation is. I think I kind of proved that, coming off two serious injuries and fighting through adversity. I continued to put my best foot forward. Whatever team I go to, I feel like they’re going to get a guy who is going to put his all into whatever he’s doing” – Harris to the Eagles Wire on what an NFL team can expect from him.

NFL Draft 2020: Justin Jefferson, Jalen Reagor meet 49ers at combine


NFL Draft 2020: Justin Jefferson, Jalen Reagor meet 49ers at combine

Despite only possessing one pick before the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the 49ers still are doing their due diligence at the NFL Scouting Combine this week in Indianapolis.

San Francisco has met with a pair of wide receivers this week in LSU product Justin Jefferson and former TCU speedster Jalen Reagor.

Jefferson, who was part of LSU’s national championship-winning squad in 2019, said his meeting with the 49ers was informal, while Reagor mentioned that the team highlighted his versatility when discussing his potential fit within the offense.

Coming off a trip to the Super Bowl, the Niners aren’t faced with a lot of glaring needs along the roster, but wide receiver certainly ranks high among the few holes general manager John Lynch must address this offseason.

The 49ers didn’t have a wide receiver eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last season, with All-Pro tight end George Kittle barely surpassing it (1,053).

Jefferson caught an NCAA Division I-best 111 passes for the Tigers in 2019 and closed out his final collegiate season with 1,540 yards. In the latest NBC Sports Bay Area mock draft, Jefferson wasn't available when the Niners were on the clock at No. 31.

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Reagor’s broad skillset likely would mesh well with the 49ers’ motion-heavy offense, as Reagor made big plays for the Horned Frogs in the running, receiving, and return game during his three seasons in Fort Worth.

This will be Lynch and Shanahan’s first opportunity to draft outside of the top five in the first round, as they hope to build on a breakout 2019 season.

49ers hoping receiver Jalen Hurd will be cleared for offseason program

49ers hoping receiver Jalen Hurd will be cleared for offseason program

INDIANAPOLIS -- Even before the 49ers have the opportunity to select a wide receiver in the draft, the club expects to add the services of a young pass-catcher.

Jalen Hurd, a third-round draft pick from a year ago, appears to be on schedule to receive clearance to rejoin the 49ers when the offseason program begins in April. Hurd spent his rookie season on injured reserve due to a stress fracture in his lower back.

“For it to completely heal, it happens on different timelines,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “We found that his has been stubborn. We think he’s been nearing towards a much better place where he’ll be cleared for all activities.

“(We) don’t want to officially give that word, but there have been some recent scans and things that give us a lot of hope that that’ll be the case, come April 1, he’ll be a full-go.”

Hurd was not around the team too much during his rookie season. He did not travel to Miami for Super Bowl LIV due to concerns about aggravating his back condition.

“I think there’s a little anxiety on his part that the long plane rides had set him off before and he worked so hard to try to get right, and kind of didn’t want that to enter the equation,” Lynch said.

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In order for Hurd's back to heal, the 49ers and Hurd felt it was best to keep him off his feet.  

“With his back stuff, he didn’t want to travel, didn’t want to be in the meetings and everything," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "There wasn’t much to do. He had a stress fracture and it’s taking a long time to heal, so we wanted him to be as immobile as possible.”

Hurd (6-foot-4, 227 pounds) caught 69 passes for 946 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season at Baylor in 2018. He played his first three college seasons at Tennessee, where he rushed for 2,635 yards and 20 touchdowns as a running back.

Hurd appeared in the 49ers’ preseason opener last summer and caught two touchdown passes against the Dallas Cowboys before experiencing the back condition that sidelined him for the rest of the season.