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Jim Harbaugh: 49ers wanted to draft Julio Jones

At least the San Francisco 49ers got (searches Google, scratches head) Aldon Smith.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh helps make up approximately 18% of all football related news during the dead times of the offseason. He was present at a South Alabama satellite camp, the existence of such makes college coaches either angry or ecstatic. Regardless, Harbaugh surprisingly wore a Julio Jones jersey near Jones' alma mater.

Was he just trying to butter up potential recruits by wearing the jersey of one of the best Alabama players in a decade? Totally.

But according to Harbaugh, there was another reason he was wearing a Falcons number 11. Per Vaughn McClure of ESPN (who transcribed a video).

"I've always had a ton of respect for Julio Jones," Harbaugh said in this video on "When I was with the San Francisco 49ers, we were hoping to draft Julio. Always have had tremendous respect for him, competed against him. ... I'm just a big fan of a lot of pe0ple. And I'm a jersey guy. I like jerseys."

The 49ers had drafted Michael Crabtree in 2009 and put up decent numbers in his first two seasons, so the Jones pick would have been a bit of stretch. In retrospect, there were very few bad picks early on in the 2011 draft, assuming you aren't the Titans, Jaguars, or Vikings. Harbaugh ended up with Aldon Smith, who is a great player that just can't stay out of trouble.

While all of this doesn't amount to much, it looks as if the Falcons were one draft slot away from missing out on their very best player.