San Francisco 49ers

Baalke says 49ers have need for speed at wideout

Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker is one of the players the 49ers could target in the first round.
Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker is one of the players the 49ers could target in the first round. AP

Trent Baalke talked about prominent 49ers like Frank Gore, Justin Smith and Vernon Davis on Wednesday. Some of his most noteworthy words, however, were about someone not currently on the team.

"I think it's no mystery we're looking for guys that can run and get down the field," Baalke said when asked about wide receivers.

The quote was significant because, A.) Baalke never has said anything like that before. B.) It signals that -- finally -- the 49ers are looking for a wideout with speed who can put pressure on the back ends of defenses. The 49ers fastest wideout, at least in terms of 40-yard dash times, is 2014 draft pick Bruce Ellington. He received only a scant number of snaps, however, and mostly was used on underneath routes.

It's also notable that while most of Jim Tomsula's assistants have stayed in Santa Clara to iron out the team's offensive and defensive schemes, the wide receivers coaches -- Adam Henry and Ronald Curry -- are here in Indianapolis (along with coordinators Geep Chryst, Eric Mangini and some others).

The wide receiver group meets the media today and will run the 40-yard dash on Saturday. Three players appear to be consensus first-round picks:

1. Amari Cooper, Alabama

2. Kevin White, West Virginia

3. DeVante Parker, Louisville

Some others could end up being first rounders as well. Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham, for example, may be the most talented player at his position. But he has all sorts of red flags and, according the NFL.com, weighed in this morning at 237 pounds. Other receivers of note:

4. Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma

5. Devin Smith, Ohio State

6. Devin Funchess, Michigan

7. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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