Friday, March 22 Pro Days: Missouri Western, Tennessee State, Vanderbilt
Friday brings us a Pro Day that doesn't feature any big name prospects. However, it does feature a player the 49ers could consider in the later rounds of the draft: Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
Rodgers will be a late round selection in the draft, and his ceiling could be high. Coming out of college, he isn't as highly regarded as his older brother Aaron was eight years ago. But having a brother who has won a Super Bowl and MVP award will not hurt his stock one bit.
Jordan put up solid numbers this year and did not turn the ball over much. He had only five interceptions on the season, and he never threw multiple picks in a game. Rodgers also threw for fifteen touchdowns on the year. In 2011 he showed impressive mobility, rushing for 420 yards and four touchdowns.
Rodgers biggest drawbacks: Arm strength and height (6'1"). The height isn't a major issue. He is mobile enough to get around and find throwing lanes. If he was a little taller, I'm sure his draft grade would be higher than it is. His arm strength is the bigger concern. Jordan does not have a cannon arm like Aaron does. However, his intelligence and ability to protect the football can offset limitations to his arm strength.
With as many picks as the 49ers have, it would not be a surprise to see the 49ers grab Rodgers in the sixth or seventh round. Who's better at grooming a young quarterback than Coach Harbaugh? Nobody!
Also worth mentioning:
David Bass, DE Missouri Western: Bass put up record-setting numbers at this Division II school. In his college career, Bass had 39.5 sacks and 56 tackles for a loss. At 6'5" 275 lbs, he could potentially be converted to 3-4 outside linebacker. Bass is an interesting player to consider in the late rounds, possibly emerging as a hidden gem.
"He came in about the same size as I was, and was very productive," Bass said. "I see myself as having a lot of the same skill set as he has."
Bass has watched Smith’s combine workout on tape, and also his Mizzou games. He tries to catch the 49ers on TV whenever possible."