Mailbag: Difficulty scouting WRs?

Weekend mail call:

Andrew from Quito, Ecuador wants to know if I can see the San Francisco 49ers occasionally using running back LaMichael James as a slot receiver.

Bill Williamson: Maybe some. I know the 49ers want to get the 2012 second-round draft pick more involved in the offense. I think they would like to design more screens out of the backfield for him. James has big speed and it needs to be better exploited.

Terry from Palo Alto, Ca. wants to know if I think Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks is a fit for the 49ers.

BW: Most certainly. He will likely be near the top of their list with the No. 30 pick. He ran a blazing 4.30 40-yard dash at the combine and he has good football skills. The Northern California native would be a terrific fit for this offense.

Greg from San Francisco wants to know if I think the 49ers past issue with drafting receivers should be a concern as they study this year’s crop.

BW: The big miss, of course, was taking A.J. Jenkins with the No. 30 pick in 2012. He never caught a pass as a 49er. Wide receivers, in the past, have been somewhat difficult to gauge. However, this year’s class is very good, so the 49ers should be able to find a standout early. Now, if the 49ers take a receiver in the first round this year and if he fails, then I’d question the team’s ability to scout the spot.