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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
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.
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
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
>>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.