All eyes were on Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan at the school’s pro day on Thursday, but Hogan is unlikely to be the first Cardinal drafted next month. That honor could go to guard Josh Garnett, who measured 6-foot-4, 312 pounds at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and who seems to be a good fit in a power-based scheme.
After the workout, 49ers coach Chip Kelly noted that he recruited both Garnett and tackle Kyle Murphy to play for him at Oregon. “I know them pretty well,” Kelly said. He also is close to Stanford head coach David Shaw.
“We had some great battles with them whether it was Zach Ertz and Andrew Luck and that crew – Shayne Skov,” Kelly said. “Dave has done an unbelievable job of continuing the success that they’ve had. There’s a reason why they’re one of the top teams in the country each year.”
Another candidate for first-Cardinal selected: Tight end Austin Hooper, who is battling Arkansas’ Henry Hunter and Ohio State’s Nick Vannett to be the first tight end taken. Hooper (6-3, 254) ran his 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds Thursday after recording a time of 4.72 seconds last month in Indianapolis.
Speaking of tight ends: Some teams are wondering whether receiver Devon Cajuste is better suited to play tight end in the NFL. He measured 6-3, 234 pounds at last month’s combine (with large, 10 3/4 -inch hands) and ran his 40 on Thursday in 4.57 seconds. That time would have topped that of all the tight ends at the combine.
There have been a number of players who have made the conversion from college wideout to NFL tight end, including former 49ers Delanie Walker and Derek Carrier. Cajuste seems to have a frame that would easily accommodate an extra 10 or so pounds of muscle. He had 90 catches for 1,589 and 14 touchdowns at Stanford.
The 49ers had a huge contingent at the pro day. Kelly, offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins, defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, assistant offensive line coach Eric Wolford and outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver were among the San Francisco coaches who attended.