Stanford's Owen Marecic was one of seven Bay Area prospects selected Saturday on the final day of the NFL draft.

The only player in the country to start on offense and defense last season, Marecic went to Cleveland with the 27th pick of the fourth round -- to the disappointment of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

"We definitely did what we could to get him here, and we came up short on that one,'' said Harbaugh, who coached Marecic at Stanford. "I sent him a text that said, 'We tried.' ''

Marecic trained for the draft as a fullback, not an inside linebacker, and gives the Browns an option in the backfield if they don't re-sign free agent Lawrence Vickers.

He'll see two familiar sights upon arriving in Cleveland. One is Browns tight end Evan Moore, a former Stanford teammate. The other is Cleveland's playbook; like Stanford's, it's based on the West Coast offense.

"I think the schemes and systems are very similar to what I've been used to running so, hopefully, it won't be too much time, too much of a shock to learn a new system,'' Marecic told the Cleveland media on a teleconference.

Marecic wasn't the first player with Bay Area ties to be selected Saturday.

That designation goes to Danville's Roy Helu Jr., chosen by Washington with the No. 8 pick of the fourth round. Helu, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards last season at Nebraska, was the ninth running back selected.


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Marecic went 19 spots later and was followed immediately by Antioch running back Taiwan Jones, who, not surprisingly, went to the Raiders.

A team infatuated with speed grabbed one of the fastest players in the draft: Jones, who played for Eastern Washington, reportedly clocked 40-yard dash times in the 4.3-second range during his pre-draft workouts.

The next local prospect off the board (midway through the fifth round) was Hayward safety DeJon Gomes, who also played for Nebraska and will join Helu with the Redskins.

Later in the fifth round, Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman went to Seattle, where he'll play for former USC coach Pete Carroll.

As a receiver, Sherman made a critical catch to help Stanford upset the Trojans in 2007. Two years later, his interception return for a touchdown helped fuel the Cardinal's 55-21 victory over USC.

Stanford receiver Ryan Whalen, who grew up in Alamo, was drafted by Cincinnati early in the sixth round -- 22 spots ahead of Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed, the final Bay Area player selected.

Cal was the only major program to offer Mohamed a scholarship out of Brawley High near San Diego. But it quickly became apparent that he had the sideline-to-sideline speed, as well as the smarts, to become an NFL prospect.

"I was just hoping to play in college," Mohamed said. "After my sophomore year, I started to play a lot more. I saw guys who I played with go on to the NFL, and I finally started to think that it might be possible for me. To defy the odds is awesome."

Mohamed said he spoke to Broncos coach John Fox and executive vice president John Elway: "(Elway) actually said, 'Imagine a Stanford guy picking a Cal guy.'"

The Bay Area News Group's Jonathan Okanes contributed to this report.