One of the first moves of the 49ers’ offseason was to restructure the way the organization deals with injuries and rehabilitation.
But the organization is certainly not shying away from players with histories of injuries or those who are currently attempting to return from conditions that kept them off the field last season.
After re-signing defensive back Jimmie Ward and going out to get linebacker Kwon Alexander (ACL) and cornerback Jason Verrett (Achilles) as free agents, the 49ers’ eight-player draft class consists largely of players who missed significant time in their college careers due to physical conditions.
The 49ers selected players who, general manager John Lynch pointed out, play hard and are physical. The 49ers' top three selections were Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel and Tennessee running back-turned-Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd.
“(They are) just very physical football players,” Lynch said. “So the brand of football they play sometimes will lend to that. But we are going to work with them to try to keep them all healthy, and we really like those guys we got.”
[RELATED: What scouts say about the 49ers' draft class]
First round, DE Nick Bosa
His senior year of high school was cut short due to an ACL injury. Then, when he appeared to be on his way to a monster junior year at Ohio State, Bosa went down in the third game with a bilateral core muscle injury.
He underwent season-ending surgery on his groin-lower abdomen area, and is now fully recovered. Bosa went through all the workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“This is one of the injuries that once you get it fixed, it’s pretty guaranteed to be good,” Bosa said in February.
Second round, WR Deebo Samuel
The hard-charging wide receiver missed time his first two seasons of college football with significant hamstring injuries.
As a junior, he sustained a season-ending fractured left lower leg in the third game of the season. He rebounded from that injury with a strong senior year.
Third round, WR Jalen Hurd
Hurd, who stands 6-foot-4 ¾, got beat up in his first three college seasons as a running back at Tennessee.
Having already undergone two shoulder surgeries, Hurd was playing through an ankle injury as a junior when he sustained a concussion. He sat out the final four games of that season before transferring to Baylor and switching positions.
Hurd underwent knee surgery in December to repair torn meniscus cartilage. It’s unclear whether he will participate in the team’s rookie minicamp practices Friday through the weekend.
“We’ve got good medicals on them,” Lynch said of the reports he received from the team’s medical staff on Samuel and Hurd.
Fifth round, LB Dre Greenlaw
Greenlaw missed three games as a senior due to a right ankle injury. He said he willed himself to play in his final Arkansas home game after missing time leading up to that point.
“I could have broke my foot and I still would have been playing,” Greenlaw told the media. “Being a Razorback means that much to me and being out there with my teammates that have been here trying to get this win. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”
Greenlaw sat out six games as a sophomore in 2016 after undergoing foot surgery.
Sixth round, TE Kaden Smith
Smith was unavailable for the final three games of his Stanford career due to a foot injury. After turning pro, he ran the second-slowest 40-yard dash time among the tight ends at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Sixth round, CB Tim Harris
His career at Virginia began in 2013. He saw action in six different seasons of college football, receiving medical redshirts for the 2016 and ’17 seasons. He dealt with shoulder issues in 2015 and ’16, then sustained a fractured wrist in his first game of 2017.
“When you're that talented and you're in the sixth round, there's something there as to why everyone is not drafting him,” Lynch said, referring to Harris’ extensive history of injuries.
“But at some point you have to trust your medical staff that we're comfortable with where he's at, and we were comfortable with where he's at and where we were at in the draft.”
The other two members of the 49ers' draft class are Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky, 27, who stopped playing Australian Rules Football at 18 due to shoulder injuries, and Vanderbilt tackle Justin Skule, who ended his college career with a streak of 40 consecutive starts.