One sure sign of regime change in San Francisco: Calls are being placed from the 49ers general manager to the University of Michigan head coach. John Lynch told reporters at the league meetings in Phoenix today that he spoke with Jim Harbaugh about some of his draft-eligible players.
Whom did they discuss? Here are some of the top players coming out of Ann Arbor this year.
S Jabrill Peppers. The rap on Peppers is that he didn't have very many plays on the ball at Michigan -- one interception, no forced fumbles and no fumble recoveries in two and a half seasons there. In 2016, he played as an inside linebacker, and in that way he might be a fit for the 49ers' strong safety role, which often plays close to the line of scrimmage. Peppers, however, doesn't have the size (5-11, 213) and big-hitter reputation as the most prominent safety to play that role in the NFL, Seattle's Kam Chancellor, and there may be better players at the position, including LSU's Jamal Adams and UConn's Obi Melinfonwu, coming out in the draft. Peppers has added value because he was an excellent punt returner, something the 49ers don't have right now.
DL Taco Charlton. At 6-6, 277 pounds, Charlton has the length NFL evaluators like along with nice athleticism for his size. The problem with San Francisco is that there doesn't appear to be a perfect spot for him. If they see him as a five-technique (strong-side defensive end), he'd be at a spot where Arik Armstead, Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair already are penciled in. He might not be quite athletic enough for the "elephant" pass-rush spot where they are eying Aaron Lynch.
WR Amara Darboh. Kyle Shanahan mostly has overhauled the 49ers' receiving corps. The one element that's missing: size. Darboh would be a nice fit in that he's 6-2, 214 pounds and is used to a pro-style offense. He led the Wolverines in receiving last year with 57 catches, 862 yards and seven touchdowns. He's similar in some ways to Shanahan's 2016 receiver with the Falcons, Mohamed Sanu. Unlike Sanu, Darboh ran an impressive 4.45-second 40 at the scouting combine. He could be a solid, early- to mid-round pickup for San Francisco.
DL Chris Wormley. He's another Wolverines defensive lineman who, in the 49ers scheme, looks like someone best suited for left defensive end on base downs who can move inside on passing downs. Wormley is 6-5, 298 pounds. Whether the 49ers seriously consider someone like Wormley may depend on whether they take Stanford's Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.
DL Ryan Glasgow. He's not rated as highly as Charlton or Wormley, but he may be interesting to the 49ers because he can play the nose-tackle position in the team's scheme. The Seahawks, for example, have been able to get good value at that spot because the players who fit it aren't typically coveted by other squads. Glasgow measures 6-3, 302 pounds with 33 3/8-inch arms.