Stanford cornerback Quenton Meeks was getting ready to face a tough opponent, 6-foot-4 Arizona State receiver N'Keal Harry, this past season when he decided to get some tips on how to handle such a big-bodied receiver.
So he texted a four-time NFL Pro Bowl cornerback, Richard Sherman, and got the following advice: Crowd Harry at the line of scrimmage.
The suggestion worked. Harry, who had 1,142 receiving yards in 2017, finished the game with a season-low three catches for 40 yards in Stanford's 34-24 win.
"I felt that was my best press game," Meeks said Wednesday. "And (Harry) was, I think, first-team All-Pac-12 this year. And I didn't allow a catch."
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Meeks, of course, followed Sherman at Stanford. And there's a decent chance he will join him on the 49ers.
The team is seeking tall, long-limbed cornerbacks who are well-versed in press coverage and Meeks fits the mold. He stands 6-2, 205 pounds and has been getting attention from all the teams – San Francisco, the Seahawks, Chargers and Falcons – that play the same style of defense as the 49ers.
Meeks said he expected to be drafted somewhere in the second or third rounds. He was perhaps the top player who practiced at Levi's Stadium in front of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan at the 49ers' "local" pro day, which is open to players who either attended local colleges or are from the Bay Area.
Cal defensive lineman James Looney, San Jose State cornerback Andre Chachere and linebacker Frank Ginda, and Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz were the other notable names on hand.
Meeks' network of NFL minds goes beyond Sherman and Stanford alumni.
His father, Ron, was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator the year they won the Super Bowl in 2007. Quenton Meeks said he learned how to catch properly from Reggie Wayne and that Dominic Rhodes taught him how to juke would-be tacklers. With that as his background, the pre-draft process hasn't been overly daunting.
"I've been around the game my whole life," he said. "I've been in a locker room my whole life, seen players like Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, you name it. To me, it's a big deal. But it's not like it's overwhelming. I've seen NFL players my whole life, so I know what it takes to be great."
Et cetera – New Mexico Highlands running back Davonte Lynch worked out for the 49ers but didn't take part in last week's pro day with the Raiders. That was odd and not just because he's from Oakland. His brother, Marshawn, is a prominent player for the Raiders. "I was trying to get in there a little too late," Davonte Lynch explained. "They already had their guys they were going to bring, so I missed that one."
▪ UC Davis offensive lineman Julian Bertero, who is from Redwood City, was on hand for the event. Bertero's 6-7 height suggests he's a tackle, but he played guard for the Aggies and lined up there Wednesday. He also took part in the Raiders pro day and said the Arizona Cardinals have shown interest as well.
▪ Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns threw passes Wednesday and also caught them alongside Schultz and the other tight ends. Burns is listed at 6-5, 230 pounds, decent size for a tight end.