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Robert Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports


ESPN’s Louis Riddick calls 49ers WR Jacob Cowing “lightning in a bottle”

Marc Adams
Jun 8, 2024 at 8:12 AM



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When the San Francisco 49ers selected Arizona wide receiver Jacob Cowing in the fourth round of the 2024 draft, many of the team's fans loved the pick, especially after former 49ers GM Scot McCloughan endorsed the selection. "Damn good football player," he said. "He's quick, fast. He's instinctive, he's competitive. He scored a lot of touchdowns, too, and can get down the field and go. He's cool. He's really, really cool."

Cowing is a bit undersized (5'8, 168 lbs.), but he's tough. And he's a willing blocker, which the 49ers demand from their wide receivers. Two of the league's best blockers at the position, Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk, are already on the team. Although McCloughan believes Cowing is tough enough to block, it's his work as a receiver that the former GM really likes.

"He'll tear up rookie minicamp, seven-on-seven, all that stuff," McCloughan added. "You'll be like, 'Wow!' you wait and see. He'll blow your mind. He's fast and quick. He's like a little bolt of lightning—gone!"

You can include Louis Riddick, of ESPN, as one who is high on Cowing, as well. "They drafted a guy in the fourth round who no one is talking about right now." Riddick said. "This guy is just lightning in a bottle. He's another guy who can work the interior of the field, between numbers, with blazing speed, great separation, great hands, and run after the catch."

On Thursday, Riddick responded to a social media post regarding his comments on Cowing, saying, "Saw him live/called a game, talked to AZ coaches, studied his tape = he has dynamic skills to exploit the MOF [middle of the field]."


Cowing is explosive, and he sometimes took over games in college. In his final game for the Wildcats, he had seven catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl. In his final collegiate season, Cowing caught 90 balls for 848 yards, and 13 touchdowns. His 9.4 yards per reception was the lowest of his career, but he almost doubled his previous high in touchdowns.

Can Cowing make an impact on gameday for San Francisco? If he can exploit the middle of the field like Riddick believes he can and add some much-needed speed to the 49ers' offense, Cowing can be an excellent compliment to the other weapons QB Brock Purdy already has at his disposal. And while his value may not be determined in 2024, Cowing could be a great selection by the 49ers.
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