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What We're Hearing: Day 2 at Scouting Combine

Posted Feb 21, 2014

49ers.com's senior reporter checks in with a handful of nuggets from the NFL's prospect showcase in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS – Size isn’t everything. Maybe at wide receiver it is. Johnny Manziel was a quarter of an inch from being six feet tall. 

It’s not a big deal though, unless you’re Denver Broncos vice president John Elway.

“He’s a great little player,” Elway said of Manziel before correcting himself. “I shouldn’t say little.”

The heights and weights of wide receivers came into focus on Friday, and so did the comments from this year’s quarterback prospects.

Here’s what we overheard…

Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was measured at 6 feet, 5 inches and 240 pounds. Benjamin is from the same “Muck City” portion of Florida as 49ers wideout Anquan Boldin. Benjamin doesn’t know Boldin personally, but he has watched his game tape. “He runs great routes. Very physical off the ball.” Benjamin is looking to make himself and his teammates better in the NFL. “I’m not going to give up,” he said. “If I need to work on my route running, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans registered at 6 feet, 4 inches and 231 pounds. In addition, Sammy Watkins of Clemson, considered by many to be the top receiver in the draft, measured in at 6 feet and 3/4 inches and 211 pounds. All three are likely to be first-round draft picks.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report caught my eye with this Tweet:

    

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy won’t use Colin Kaepernick as a reason to revamp his defense. Despite suffering postseason losses to the 49ers in consecutive seasons, McCarthy said he wouldn’t change his defense just off of Kaepernick’s running success against Green Bay. San Francisco’s play-making quarterback produced 98 rushing yards in a Wild Card road playoff win. “Colin has played very well against us,” McCarthy said. “That’s stating the obvious.” 

The Packers coach said he wasn’t willing to share his defensive plans for the offseason. McCarthy said Kaepernick’s success won’t change how Green Bay approaches the draft. “Really the discussions we’re having on defense (aren't) really about one player on an opponent’s team.”

San Jose State quarterback David Fales was teammates with Colin Kaepernick briefly. Fales thought he was going to to play in Nevada's passing attack, but when Kaepernick took over as a starter, everything changed. Nevada used the pistol scheme, and Fales transferred to the Bay Area. Fales has kept in touch with Kaepernick and said this of the 49ers quarterback: “He was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around.”

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron is not being talked about as one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. The former two-time national champion isn’t exactly sure why that is the case. Asked to name his best attribute, the former Crimson Tide passer said, “Winning.” As a follow-up, McCarron said he’s a natural leader. “I’m the first one (in) and the last one out.” McCarron will throw at the combine unlike many of the other top signal-callers in the draft. McCarron missed the Senior Bowl because he was rehabbing a shoulder injury. Now he’ll have a chance to get everyone’s attention. 

Oregon running back DeAnthony Thomas is sticking to his guns. The shifty runner maintained that he was the first person to have "Black Mamba” as a nickname. “I had it way before Kobe,” Thomas said.