In yesterday's post about Michael Floyd, I included a rundown of some of the players the 49ers have hosted or visited in recent weeks as they prepare for the 2012 NFL Draft. One name that I included and initially overlooked beyond that was Cal State Fullerton's Andre Hardy.
As El Dorado pointed out, Fullerton does not have a football team. Hardy played basketball for Fullerton and is now looking to play organized football for the first time since high school. The timing is helpful because Eric Branch put together a post on Hardy yesterday morning. The 49ers were among seven teams that traveled to San Diego for Hardy's workout.
Yep, someone out there thinks they can turn out the next Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham. Gates came to San Diego having sat out from football since high school as well, while Graham managed one year of football at Miami.
Hardy looks the part as seen in the video after the jump, but it remains to be seen how well he will convert. He would appear to be a ridiculous athlete, but given the physical punishment he will deal with on the football field, is expecting some kind of Gates-esque performance early on too much? It seems easy enough to qualify Gates as a statistical outlier, but maybe when you've got that kind of athleticism it doesn't really matter.
At this point, there really aren't any significant scouting reports and prospect rankings lists are not including him among tight ends. It seems like a complete crapshoot, which also makes it hard to project where a team should select him, if at all, in the 2012 NFL Draft. Gates was undrafted and Graham was selected late in the third round. Where would you consider a guy like Hardy, if at all? This is of course assuming you think the 49ers should spend any sort of pick on the tight end position.