Last year, the 49ers hosted four of their eventual draft picks on visits to Santa Clara and added a fifth, linebacker Elijah Lee, to their 53-man roster in early September. Teams are allowed 30 so-called "official visits," so they must schedule them wisely. The players invited usually fall into one or more of the following categories:
1. A player the team is considering drafting with a top pick.
2. An underclassman; team is looking for more data.
3. A player with character issues whom teams want to know better.
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4. A player the team has no intention of taking (but want other teams to think they might).
With that in mind, here's San Francisco's pre-draft tracker. Names will be added as the visits take place and otherwise become known.
ILB Jerome Baker, Ohio State. The 49ers want speed at the inside linebacker spot and Baker (6-1, 229 pounds) has just that having run his 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds. Baker led the Buckeyes with 72 tackles last season and projects to the Will linebacker spot with the 49ers. Source: Rotoworld.
CB Christian Campbell, Penn State. Campell has the height (6-1) and especially the long arms (33 1/2 inches) the 49ers covet at the position. He's expected to be a late-round pick. The 49ers have one sixth-round selection and two in the seventh. Source: NFL Network.
OLB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia. He was overshadowed a bit by fellow Bulldog linebacker Roquan Smith, but is longer and more of an edge player. He fits best at strong-side linebacker, which could be in need of a new starter if Eli Harold is moved full time to Leo defensive end. Source: NFL Network
C James Daniels, Iowa. Quick, smart and smooth, Daniels is considered the top center in the draft and is expected to be selected in either the first or second round. Kyle Shanahan puts a lot of value on centers. Still, it's hard to see the 49ers selecting Daniels after making free agent Weston Richburg one of the top-paid players at the position last month. Both can play guard, but their better position is center. Source: Hawkeye Nation
ILB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech. He's a strong possibility with the No. 9 pick. Edmunds is an unconventional fit at inside linebacker because he's so tall and long-limbed (6-5, 253 with 34 1/2-inch arms). But he moves well and was very productive on a stout Hokies defense. Some believe Edmunds, who is only 19, could mature into an edge player. Source: The Bee.
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama. He was one of the top defensive players in the nation last year and cleaned up on year-end awards. The question is where Fitzpatrick would play with the 49ers. Their biggest need is at cornerback, but Fitzpatrick's best fit might be free safety. Source: The Bee.
DE Arden Key, LSU. Key falls under the "need more information" category. He was gone for four months from the LSU program last spring, his weight fluctuated wildly and he had a shoulder injury that needs examining. But he also was a very good pass rusher, showing an ability to bend and contort his 6-5 frame to quickly get to the quarterback. Sources say the 49ers are one the team's most interested in Key and NFL.com reports that they have both a workout in Louisiana and a formal visit in Santa Clara scheduled. Source: NFL Network.
CB Josh Jackson, Iowa. He led the nation with eight interceptions last season and the former wide receiver's ball skills obviously are intriguing. At 6-1, he also fits the size profile the 49ers want at cornerback. He's a possibility in the first round, especially if the 49ers trade back for later picks. Source: NBC Bay Area
DE Harold Landry, Boston College. There's debate over whether Landry or Davenport is the second-best pass rusher in the draft. Landry is more refined and relies on quickness and outside moves to get to the quarterback. He had 16 1/2 sacks in 2016, but that number dropped to five last season when Landry was limited to five games because of an ankle injury. Source: NFL Network.
CB Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State. McFadden, who stands 6-2, passes the size test for a 49ers cornerback, but his 40-yard dash time of 4.67 seconds, was slower than what teams want. By contrast, defensive end Marcus Davenport, who is 6-6, 265 pounds, ran his 40 in 4.58 seconds. Source: Rotoworld.
DB/LB Foye Oluokon, Yale. At 6-1, 230 pounds, the 49ers probably see Oluokon as a Will linebacker and special teams ace. However, he was a defensive back at Yale and they may look at him as a strong safety candidate as well. He finished second of the team last season with 50 tackles and two forced fumbles. Source: NFLDraftScout.com
T Brian O'Neil, Pitt. O'Neil was the fastest offensive tackle at the combine and the 49ers undoubtedly are intrigued by his movement skills. He's also lighter than nearly every NFL tackle and his strength and heft are question marks. Source: NBC Bay Area.
WR Dante Pettis, Washington. Pettis was highly productive at Washington, although his best season came in 2016 when first-round draft pick John Ross was playing opposite him. Pettis has added value as a punt returner; he scored nine touchdowns on returns in four seasons. Source: NBC Bay Area
C/G Billy Price, Ohio State. The 49ers have been taking close looks at centers and guards and Price is one of the best at those positions. He suffered a partial pectoral tear at the scouting combine but was ahead of schedule on his recovery when he returned to Indianapolis recently for a medical re-check. Price was a two-time team captain at Ohio State who started 55 consecutive games there and the 49ers likely would prize his leadership skills. Source: The Bee.
WR Byron Pringle, Kansas State. Most of the 49ers' pre-draft visits will take place in the third week of April. Pringle, however, visited last month. At 6-2, 205, he has very good size to go along with great speed (4.46-second 40). He also averaged 24.1 yards per catch as a senior and seems to be the downfield, big-play pass catcher Shanahan likes to have on his roster. Pringle has had run-ins with the law, and checking those out likely is one of the reasons the 49ers wanted to visit with him. Source: The Bee
ILB Roquan Smith, Georgia. The Georgia linebacker, a possibility with the No. 9 pick, told reporters at his pro day that the 49ers were among the teams he would visit. The 49ers want speed at inside linebacker, and Smith has that, having run his 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds. Smith's size and speed make him a good fit for Will linebacker in San Francisco's scheme although some believes he also could line up at the Mike spot, which calls for a more physical player.. Malcolm Smith is earmarked for Will, but with the other would-be starter at inside linebacker, Reuben Foster, unlikely to be available for a full season given his legal situation(s), there promises to be plenty of shuffling at that level of the defense. Source: Macon Telegraph
WR Auden Tate, Florida State. Shanahan has lamented the 49ers' lack of tall receivers. Tate is 6-5, 228 pounds and caught 40 passes for 548 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Source: NBC Bay Area.
DE Kemoko Turay, Rutgers. Turay has the size (6-5, 252) and explosion the 49ers want from the "Leo" position. His production at Rutgers, however, was inconsistent. Last season he had 65 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks and a forced fumble. He's predicted to be drafted in the second or third rounds. Source: Rotoworld
CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State. He's considered the best pure cornerback in the draft, and the 49ers could use better depth at that position. Ward, however, measured in at 5-10 7/8 inches and 183 pounds last month, meaning he doesn't fit the ideal size of a 49ers cornerback. That begs the question: Would San Francisco make an exception at pick No. 9? Source: NFL Network.
ILB Fred Warner, BYU. Warner fits the mold for a 49ers linebacker in that he's fast and is good in the passing game. Last season he led BYU with 87 tackles and had one interception and five pass breakups. He's believed to be a middle-round pick. Source: NBC Bay Area.
S Kyzir White, West Virginia. At 6-2, 218 pounds, White projects to strong safety in the 49ers' scheme. San Francisco currently has Jaquiski Tartt at that spot, but no real depth behind him. Source: NBC Bay Area.