Stanford could have 4 first-round picks?

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Stanford could have 4 first-round picks?

My, how times have changed at Stanford.

It's possible - bordering on likely - that the Cardinal could have four players selected in the first round of this month's draft. NFL.com details the players and where they're likely to go. Andrew Luck is a name you're familiar with. Possibly you know his top tight end, Coby Fleener, too. But are you up to date on the other two Stanford players who could go in Round 1? Here are their NFL.com write-ups:

--David DeCastro, OG, (6-5 18, 314) DeCastro stood on everything he did at the NFL Scouting Combine, though he was weighed and measured. He had a very good workout, and is a very solid football player. He is similar to Titans G Steve Hutchinson, an 11-year veteran who has made the Pro Bowl seven times. Like Hutchinson, DeCastro should be a top-line starter for 10 or 11 years.

--Jonathan Martin, OT, (6-5 38, 307) Martin ran the 40-yard dash in 5.27 and 5.43 seconds. He notched a 30-inch vertical, an 8-8 broad jump, a 4.68-second short shuttle and a 7.69-second three-cone. Martin had 20 strength lifts, with arms that measured 34 18 inches. The parents of the likely first-round pick both went to Harvard and practice law.

NFL.com's Gil Brandt also has mini scouting reports on Luck and Fleener, in addition to other Cardinal players who could hear their name called at the draft. You can read them all here.

In terms of the four Stanford players likely to go in the first round, the Raiders almost certainly won't have a shot at any of them, as Oakland doesn't have a first- or second-round pick. But perhaps one of the Stanford safeties (Delano Howell or Michael Thomas) or wideouts (Chris Owusu or Griff Whalen) would be more up the Raiders' alley, later in the draft.

Versatility could help Wendle in crowded A's infield

Versatility could help Wendle in crowded A's infield

MESA, Ariz. — He committed to winter ball for the opportunity to play third base. Instead, Joey Wendle wound up playing lots of shortstop for Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican League.

It all served the same purpose — make the A’s second baseman more versatile for an organization that values versatility more than ever.

A glance at the numbers shows Wendle faces an uphill battle to make the 25-man roster. Oakland has veteran Jed Lowrie slated to start at second base, and Adam Rosales was brought on board to be the utility infielder. But Wendle made a strong impression in September during his first major league call-up, and he’ll fight to make the A’s infield roster decision a tough one.

“It’s the same approach I’ve always kept,” Wendle said Friday morning. “Just continue focusing on what I can do and playing my game. That’s really all I can control. Everything else is up to the front office and coaching staff. If I do what I feel I’m capable of, I think I’ll put myself in a good position to help the team out at some point this year.”

The A’s like the strides the 26-year-old Wendle has made defensively at second since being acquired from Cleveland in December 2014. He hit .260 with one homer and 11 RBI in 28 games in September, serving as a leadoff man for much of that time.

Manager Bob Melvin likes the fact that Wendle got experience over the winter playing on the left side of the diamond. Wendle found out when he arrived in Mexico that a shortstop originally slated to play for Obregon didn’t pan out, so he got substantial time at short over the course of his 34 games.

“I think just playing the position, understanding what the shortstop has to go through as a second baseman helps you,” Melvin said. “Seeing the game from the other side of the diamond, having to make different throws. He’s a pretty athletic guy.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he could do it. And if you’re keeping one extra infielder and now you can add the position to your repertoire, it gives you another chance to stay at the big league level.”

Wendle took only four or five days off at the end of last season before heading to Mexico, so his 2016 season essentially stretched into late November. He and his wife, Lindsey, lounged on a beach near Obregon to celebrate their second anniversary, but by the time he finished winter ball, Wendle was “pretty fried” in his words.

But he arrived at camp refreshed and ready to compete for a roster spot.

“Until a player makes it to the major leagues, there’s a big question mark in his head as to whether he can do it or not,” Wendle said. “(The September call-up) was big for me. I think I proved to myself to an extent that at least I’m capable of playing at that level. Obviously, it’s a game of adjustments, so the ability to do that is going to be huge if I get another opportunity up there.”

49ers' director of college scouting hired as Packers scout

49ers' director of college scouting hired as Packers scout

Matt Malaspina, who spent the past four years as the 49ers’ director of college scouting, has joined the Green Bay Packers’ player personnel department.

The Packers on Friday announced the hiring of Malaspina as a college scout.

Malaspina becomes the second high-ranking member of the 49ers’ scouting department to leave the organization in moves announced this week. On Wednesday, the 49ers announced assistant general manager Tom Gamble was no longer with the organization.

Malaspina spent 12 years with the 49ers after being an area scout with the Seattle Seahawks for five seasons. Before moving into the position as the 49ers’ director of college scouting, Malaspina was a national scout with the 49ers. He was responsible for cross-checking the southeast region, as well as top prospects across the country.

Shortly after being hired as 49ers general manager, John Lynch hired Adam Peters as vice president of player personnel and former Detroit GM Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive to become his top two assistants.