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49ers-Stanford Draft Ties, More on Jordan Matthews, Raiders QB Situation

Posted May 5, 2014

Each weekday, 49ers.com reviews the most newsworthy and engaging content from around the web involving the 49ers and the NFL. We seek it out, so you don't have to.

Each weekday morning, 49ers.com reviews the most newsworthy and engaging content from around the web involving the 49ers and the NFL. We seek it out, so you don't have to. 

Feedback in the comment section is HIGHLY encouraged. Enjoy.

1. Stanford Ties?

Since Jim Harbaugh joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, the team has not drafted a single player that he coached at Stanford, which helps to explain why none have appeared in a game. Fullback Owen Marecic became the first such player to crack the team's in-season, 53-man roster briefly in 2013. Others, including safety Michael Thomas (now on the Miami Dolphins), have spent time on the practice squad. Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, whom the 49ers acquired from the Dolphins this offseason, could become the first Harbaugh product to carve out a gameday role for San Francisco.

But will the 49ers draft a Stanford alum? They haven't since 2003 and, in recent years, they've passed on the likes of Harbaugh-coached Martin and tight ends Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) and Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts). Some of Stanford's top prospects come this week's draft include offensive lineman David Yankey as well as linebackers Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov.

Harbaugh, who led the Pac-12 school for four seasons starting in 2007, has given some of his former players smaller opportunities, however. Just last month, 16 members of the Cardinal participated at the 49ers annual local pro day. When asked, many said that, of course, they'd like to be the first to hear their name called from New York.  

>>If the 49ers go the Stanford route, then 220-pound running back Tyler Gaffney could help fill the void left by departed free agent Anthony Dixon.

>>Of the ball carriers's 40-yard dash times, San Francisco's scouts will be skeptical. After all, Jerry Rice was football fast, not combine fast.

2. More on Receiver Related to Rice

We previously brought you Jordan Matthews' comments on being Rice's cousin, plus the Vanderbilt wideout's commentary-aided highlight reel.

Now this not-so-surprising nugget from Matt Barrows' Sacramento Bee feature on the early-round draft prospect: He was the hardest worker on his college team.

“He wouldn’t let anyone tell him someone is better than he is,” 49ers reserve offensive lineman Ryan Seymour, who spent three years with Matthews at Vanderbilt, told Barrows. “Whoever picks him up is going to get a steal.”

Matthews gets his Rice-like work ethic, however, from his parents, who raised him in Alabama while Rice was catching touchdown passes in San Francisco.

3. Around the League

>>Yes, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year contract option for outside linebacker Aldon Smith, but the Minnesota Vikings (quarterback Christian Ponder) and the New Orleans Saints (running back Mark Ingram) declined the same clause on their 2011 first-round draft picks.

>>If the Oakland Raiders are looking past the quarterback position at the draft, general manager Reggie McKenzie isn't telling anyone.

>>Senior reporter Taylor Price represented 49ers.com among other NFL reporters on the draft-centric Black and Blue Report podcast.