During yesterday's 2011 Senior Bowl practices, the 49ers sat down with San Diego State wide receiver Vincent Brown. The 49ers will meet with numerous prospects in the coming months so we have to take each visit with a bit of a grain of salt. Nonetheless, I'd have to imagine the 49ers have at least some level of interest in Brown even if it's minimal. The team has some need at the wide receiver position and if they can't get someone like A.J. Green or would prefer to address other areas at number seven, a guy like Vincent Brown is a possible option later in the draft.
Brown checked in for the North team at 5'11, 184lbs. In reviewing various sites, his positional ranking seems to vary. Scouts Inc ranks him 15th among wide receivers, CBS Sports ranks him 16th, Draft Countdown ranks him 19th, while Draft Tek ranks him 8th. A couple of these sites have him listed at the bottom end of their top 100.
Thus far Vincent Brown appears to be having a solid week, although the one big drawback to him has been his speed. Scouts Inc had what appears to be the most apt description of Brown's abilities in today's practice blog:
We love WR Vincent Brown's hands and his ability to make plays in traffic. But the one reason he's making plays in traffic is he doesn't have great burst. You see it when he's trying to separate from corners. He had a chance to make a play coming out of his break but could not close on the ball while it was in the air.
After the jump we take a look at some other practice reports on Vincent Brown.
The folks at DraftInsider.net continue providing run-downs on all the Senior Bowl players. THIS page provides a look at the North roster and how they've performed each day of practice (in the eyes of DraftInsider). According to DI, Brown has been solid but lacks top-end speed:
Monday Practice Notes: Caught the ball very well. Has soft hands which enables him to snatch the ball from the air. Made a lot of difficult receptions. Shows minimal speed and quickness.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Ran terrific routes and consistently separated from opponents. Terrific hands; soft and strong, and caught everything thrown to him. No burst or speed.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Another solid day. What impressed the most is the way Brown fights for the ball and wins out in battles.
It seems clear that Brown's hands are not an issue at all. He appears to be hauling in most anything that comes his way. However, his size and speed keep him below that elite level of receiver. I've seen some references to him on twitter as a possession receiver, which comes across as a pretty generic term for anybody other than a speed guy or a number one receiver. Draft Countdown has comments on his first two days of practice thus far in the practice reports of their Senior Bowl coverage:
Monday: Seemed ultra-focused on the field. He made precise cuts and would catch every ball that came his way, even poorly thrown ones. He used his arms well and showed toughness. Not physically impressive, but he plays the game well. Had a nice diving catch near the sideline early in one on ones that was extremely impressive.
Tuesday: Not super fast and doesn't get a lot of separation but he catches everything, runs polished routes and knows how to use his body to his advantage.
It seems safe to say people will know exactly what Vincent Brown brings to the table. There's certainly the chance he figures something out over the next two months and improves his speed, but I'd have to imagine that he won't be getting a whole lot faster anytime soon.
Given all that, where would you draft a guy like Vincent Brown, or would you even spend a pick on him? If he is a guy you'd draft, where does he fit in to the mix of 49ers wide receivers? We'll have a rundown of 49ers receivers in our Long Look Back, Brief Look Forward series, but for now your 49ers WRs consist of: