SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are likely to select a cornerback within the first three rounds of next week’s NFL Draft.
Stanford’s Quenton Meeks would like nothing more than to be chosen, so he can continue to learn from one of his mentors.
“Richard Sherman is a Hall of Famer, and we have similar body types.” Meeks said. “All of our combine numbers – it’s kind of scary – it’s almost identical in all of them.”
Meeks (6-foot-2, 205) has the size the 49ers want from a cornerback in this scheme. At the combine in 2011, Sherman, who also attended Stanford, measured 6-3, 195. Meeks ran the three-cone drill at 6.72, compared to Sherman’s 6.82. Meeks’ 20-yard shuttle was 4.23, while Sherman’s was 4.33.
“He even told me I remind him of himself, so that was the biggest compliment I’ve gotten,” Meeks said Wednesday at the 49ers' local pro day at Levi's Stadium. "I look up to him so much, and I try to model my game after him. He’s so smart. He’s always a step ahead.”
Meeks said he expects to selected in the second or third round, and the 49ers are among the teams that have shown the most interest during the pre-draft process.
“That would be a dream come true, honestly – just to learn from the best,” Meeks said of Sherman. “I think he’s still the best corner in the game right now. It takes someone who really knows how to study corners to see what he does really well. He always disrupts the receivers. The amount of times he gets thrown at during a game is very little, because if you throw at him, there’s a big chance it’s going to get intercepted.”
Meeks said he spoke with Sherman during the season to get some tips before a game against Arizona State. He wanted some advice on going up against 6-4 wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Harry, who caught 82 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns on the season, was held to just three receptions for 40 yards against Stanford. None of the receptions came when Meeks was in coverage against him, he said.
"He really helped me," Meeks said. "I asked him, in particular, one game I was playing this bigger receiver, so I asked him for some tips. He gave some tips, and I locked down that game and didn't allow a single catch."