49ers

Kyle Juszczyk suggests 49ers should pursue former teammate Eric Weddle

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Kyle Juszczyk suggests 49ers should pursue former teammate Eric Weddle

A bunch of quality NFL players are about to become free agents, which means the 49ers, naturally, have been continuing their recruiting efforts.

We've seen 49ers players flirt with Antonio Brown and Earl Thomas on social media. Now, with the Ravens reportedly cutting safety Eric Weddle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk isn't wasting any time reaching out to his former teammate.

Juszczyk has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, covering his first two years with the 49ers and his final one in Baltimore, which happened to coincide with Weddle's first season with the Ravens.

The season they overlapped in Baltimore, Weddle also was named to the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games and totaling 89 tackles, four interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble. So, Juszczyk knows Weddle can do.

Weddle hauled in six interceptions the following season but none this past year. Still, he managed to make the Pro Bowl both times as a leader of one of the top NFL’s defenses.

The 49ers have had nowhere near one of the league’s top defenses over that same span, and certainly could use an influx of talent on that side of the ball, whether through free agency or the NFL draft.

[RELATED: How trio of reported free agents would fit 49ers in 2019]

Weddle, 34, is a bit long in the tooth, but he’s still likely to be one of the most sought-after players in what has become a robust free agent safety market. Depending on who the 49ers view as the best fit for their own system, Weddle could make a lot of sense.

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

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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.