The San Francisco 49ers were scheduled to host a pre-draft visit with former Arkansas linebacker Dre Greenlaw but canceled the trip. Greenlaw was not happy about that, but weeks later, understands the reasoning. The 49ers selected him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Greenlaw is the fourth player the 49ers have selected from the Senior Bowl. He played for the Oakland Raiders-coached North squad during the annual college all-star game in January. Many figure he will earn a role on special teams while serving as a backup linebacker.

"I had a lot of contact with coach [inside linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans] as far as at the Senior Bowl," Greenlaw told reporters via a conference call after being drafted. "We played against them. I was with the other team, though, and he just said he really liked my film and he saw some of my practice tape and liked some of the stuff I did. And that's kind of the only contact I had.

"I was supposed to go down for a 30 visit with them, and they canceled the 30 visit, and that really hurt my heart. I thought then that it was done, and it panned out they still wanted me. I'm blessed."

The 49ers were likely looking to hide their intentions.

"It sounds like they were trying to keep it a secret," Greenlaw said.

Greenlaw joins a linebackers room that includes newly acquired Kwon Alexander, second-year linebacker Fred Warner, veteran Malcolm Smith, and others. The selection gives the 49ers a little insurance should Alexander, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, not be able to play at the start of the upcoming season.

"I'm very familiar with Kwon Alexander," Greenlaw said. "I know he's just got there this year, and I know he's a great athlete and a great linebacker, and I'm ready to learn as much as possible I'm ready to absorb it all."