Wire sports briefs: 49ers take LSU safety in first round

By From page B2 | April 26, 2013

SANTA CLARA (AP) — Several years back, Eric Reid shunned Jim Harbaugh and Stanford to stick close to home at LSU.

Harbaugh’s aggressive pursuit impressed Reid nonetheless. Fast forward to NFL draft night 2013, and Reid watched Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers make a big move up to make sure they got him this time.

San Francisco selected the speedy free safety with the 18th pick Thursday night after trading up to get the selection from the Dallas Cowboys.

“But this time Eric had no choice,” Harbaugh said with a smile.

When Harbaugh and Reid crossed paths in February at the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis, the coach had to razz Reid a little bit about his college choice.

In Reid, the 49ers landed their apparent replacement for departed free safety Dashon Goldson, perhaps the biggest need for the reigning NFC champions. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and Cowboys executive Stephen Jones had worked out details of a potential trade early Thursday, so “it was an easy trade on the clock,” Baalke said.

Raiders trade down to select corner

ALAMEDA (AP) — D.J. Hayden’s remarkable comeback from a near-death experience has taken him to the first round of the NFL draft.

The Oakland Raiders selected the former Houston cornerback with the 12th overall pick after trading down nine spots to get a second rounder from Miami on Thursday night.

Hayden was just moments from death last November after an on-field collision with a teammate in practice tore a blood vessel off the back of his heart. He was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.

The injury is 95 percent fatal in the field, according to doctors, and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries.

“I was just wondering if I would walk straight again,” Hayden said. “That’s what was on my mind, just walking straight again. I wasn’t worried about life after football, life after college, I was just worried about walking.”

But after a week of self-described depression, Hayden’s spirits were lifted when doctors told him he would have a chance to play football again once his sternum and stitches healed.

Hayden did recover and was cleared by doctors before running a 4.4 40-yard dash at Houston’s pro day in March to help cement his status as Oakland’s selection.

The Associated Press

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