What 49ers 2014 Rookies Said at the Combine

A look back at San Francisco's most recent draft class competing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

 
As the 49ers Studios crew prepares to bring you wall-to-wall coverage at this year's edition of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next week, we take a look back at last year's event with a new perspective.

Now that we know how the 49ers 2014 draft class took shape, let's see what a few of the rookies said to the media as prospects at the combine.

Did the players have a grasp of their best abilities and what they most needed to prove? Judging from some of the quotes below, it appears the soon-to-be 49ers knew exactly how to sell themselves.

(Note: Go here for 49ers combine player quotes from 2005-2013)

Ohio State RB Pierre Garçon (second round, 57th overall)

Question:What separates you from other running backs?

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Hyde: **"I think my game is what separates me. What I bring to the table; I bring that passion. I play with a lot of heart. I feel like I bring that spark to the offense. When the offense needs something going, I feel like I can make it happen."

Question:Whose game is similar to yours?

Hyde:"Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, those type of guys. You see them running the ball out of the shotgun and spread plays, which is kind of what I did at Ohio State."

Question:Can you describe your running style?

Hyde:"I would say my running style is violent. Not too many times am I trying to make you miss. I am trying to run through you, trying to get the yards we need. Sometimes I will make you miss because you expect me to run through you."

USC C Marcus Martin (third round, 70th overall)

Question:How did you make the transition from guard to center?

Martin:"I was really focused and concentrated on developing my game, learning how to snap and trying to understand our offensive scheme as best as possible. And it was something that played a pivotal role with me being successful this year at center."

Question:Would it be disappointing to get drafted and have to sit behind a guy for a guy?

Martin:"I wouldn't say it would be disappointing. It would be a great learning experience and an opportunity for me to soak up the offense and really assimilate into the team and get to know the coaching staff and things like that. But I would like to come in and take a starting job."

Wisconsin LB Chris Borland (third round, 77th overall)

Question:There might be better athletes than you at linebacker, but are you the most complete one?

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Borland: **"I'm confident that I am, and I don't know that there are a lot of players that are a better all-around athlete. I don't get maybe a lot of credit for it. I'm small, and straight-line speed is not my strong suit necessarily. But as far as what it takes to play football, I've got all it requires."

Question:How would you rate your toughness?

Borland:"I feel like I'm the toughest guy here, or at least one of them. We've got a lot of tough guys here at the combine, but I've played through things, not complained, practiced hard. I've done all the right things. Probably the way I grew up. I've got four older brothers, six siblings, and we were playing sports all the time, so it's just kind of the way I operate."

Question:Are there examples in the NFL of linebackers that are your size?

Borland:"Yeah, there's a lot of guys that have gotten it done at a high level being under six feet. You mentioned London fletcher, he's a guy I watched. Zack Thomas, Chris Spielman are about six feet. A lot of guys have played very well at that size and they kind of paved the way for guys like me."

South Carolina WR Bruce Ellington (fourth round, 106th overall)

Question:At your size, how important is it for you to play big?

Ellington:"I'm 5-9, so I have to let people know I'm here. On third down or fourth down, give me the ball and I'm going to go get it for you. I can get open, make big plays and I have the ability to run past defenders and make myself open." 

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Question: **How do you think playing both basketball and football in college has helped you?

Ellington:"My conditioning; it kept me in shape. Being a defender on the basketball court makes you stay low and have quick feet. Even though I'm shorter, I'm going to go get the rebound, and in football, I'm going to go get the catch."

NC State CB Dontae Johnson (fourth round, 129th overall)

Question:Seattle has had success with big corners, does that give you an edge?

Johnson:"Absolutely. I feel my length, I can use it to the best of my abilities, and with my abilities, I'm able to make plays on the ball that a typical 5-11 corner can't make. Like you said, the game is transitioning to tall corners. I feel like my length is going to help me, and my versatility is going to help as well."

Question:What corners do you look up to?

Johnson:"Right now, the best there is, Richard Sherman. But I didn't really study that many corners, because I've played safety most of my time playing football. I was a huge Brian Dawkins fan, Sean Taylor fan."

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