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Purdue Football: Jalen Graham to 49ers

San Francisco lands Purdue’s versatile linebacker with their final selection in the draft.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Graham’s NFL draft odyssey concluded moments ago when the San Francisco 49ers used pick number 255 to secure his services.

Graham was considered a mid-round pick when the draft process started, but plummeted down draft boards after an awful combine and a not much better pro day. I’ve never seen a player look as athletic on the field and test so poorly. San Fran is banking on Graham playing faster than he tested, and based on what I’ve seen over the last few years, that’s a safe gamble.

It will be an uphill battle for Jalen to make the 49ers but his ability to cover tight ends, tied with a willingness to excel on special teams could help earn him a coveted roster spot. There’s no guarantee, but when you’re trying to make an NFL team, versatility is key, and that’s what Graham brings to the table. Like Cory Trice Jr., if nothing else, I expect to see Jalen make the practice squad because of his intriguing ability to cover like a safety but still hit like a linebacker.

That should wrap it up for Purdue in this draft.