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49ers great Bryant Young named finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

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AP

49ers great Bryant Young named finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young on Thursday took a step toward enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Young was announced on the NFL Network as one of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. It is the first time Young has been a finalist in his eight years of eligibility after retiring at the end of the 2007 season. He was named among the 25 semifinalists in November.

Young, the 49ers’ career-leader in quarterbacks sacks with 89.5, was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s, while being a two-time first-team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He was on the 49ers' Super Bowl champion as a rookie in 1994. Young won Comeback Player of the Year in 1999 after a broken leg ended his previous season after 12 games.

One of the most respected players in franchise history, Young’s teammates voted him eight times as the winner of the 49ers’ the prestigious Len Eshmont Award, for courageous and inspirational play.

Young was a first-round draft pick from Notre Dame in 1994. He played each of his 14 NFL seasons with the 49ers.

The 48-member Hall of Fame board of selectors will meet on the eve of Super Bowl 54 in Miami to elect the five modern-era inductees who will join 15 additional individuals chosen by a blue-ribbon panel as part of the NFL’s centennial enshrinement class.

[RELATEDHall of Fame semifinalist Bryant Young loves watching 49ers this season]

A blue-ribbon panel will meet this month to determine the 10 seniors, three contributors, and two coaches as part of the Hall of Fame’s one-time expanded class to join the modern-era inductees.

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig is one of 20 finalists for 10 spots to be made available for players whose playing careers ended at least 25 years ago.

Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors.

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

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USATSI

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.

[RELATED: 49ers have solid running backs, but group lacks something]

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.

[RELATED49ers roster analysis: More receiver depth needed around Deebo Samuel]

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.