2014 NFL Draft: March 20th Pro Days

Several names to watch today including players from Fresno State, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Stanford.

Pro days continue today with: California (Pa.), Fresno State, Heidelberg, Kent State, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, Notre Dame, San Diego State, Stanford, and Tennessee State.

Fresno State's pro day will probably be one of the better attended with both QB Derek Carr and WR Davatne Adams commanding attention. Carr is considered one of the top QBs in this draft. In fact, some pundits have Carr being drafted in the top 10, others late in the first, while still others say second-third round. Carr possesses one of the better arms in the draft, I think he ends up going in the first - he at least won't get passed Cleveland with their second pick at 26.

Adams is a big bodied receiver at 6-1, 212lbs who really benefited from the air-raid offense at Fresno State. Adams posted a solid 4.56 forty at the combine with an insane 39.5" vertical. The athletic ability is there and at only 21, Adams will be one of the younger players available in this draft - a trait team's love. His route tree and ability to beat the press appear to be the most significant limitations. All things that can be coached at the next level.

Kent State running back Dri Archer ran the fastest forty at the combine last month with a 4.26. Surprisingly the 5-8, 173lbs back also put up 20 reps in the bench and recorded a 38" vertical jump. Archer has drawn comparisons to Kansas City's Dexter McCluster and figures to make his most significant impact in special teams. Archer lined up a lot in the slot at Kent State so teams could look at him as more of an offensive weapon (like Dennard Robinson last year) than a pure running back.

Missouri's DE/OLB Kony Ealy is a fringe first rounder hoping today will help solidify those first round aspirations. While speed/athleticism leave more to be desired, Ealy is an above average pass rusher with a knack for disrupting the pocket. I don't see the 49ers going pass rusher in the first round but if they did, Ealy would be a candidate.

Keep an eye on CB E.J. Ganies. The 5-10, 195lbs defensive back is physical vs the run and has tremendous experience in both press and off man coverage. He showed great ball skills defending 33 passes and intercepting seven over four years. Gaines also has extensive special teams experience and could be a nice addition in the later rounds.

Notre Dame's defensive linemen Louis Nix III and Stephon Tuitt have both been mocked to the 49ers at some point. Both are likely to go in the first two rounds with Nix III possessing the greatest upside as a true but versatile nose tackle. Tuitt is a prototype 5-tech end in a 3-4 scheme. I just don't see the 49ers adding to an already deep defensive line until the mid to late rounds.

Stanford has a handful of players everyone will suspect the 49ers to be keen on including guard David Yankey, safety Ed Reynolds, and offensive tackle Cameron Fleming. Others like linebackers Trent Murphy and Shane Skov are also probably on that list but unless the 49ers look to address future depth issues at linebacker early I don't' see either one landing with the 49ers.

Yankey is intriguing to me. Many believed he'd be a first rounder but guards aren't valued like tackles and most teams believe you can find suitable guards in later rounds. All-Pro Mike Iupati will be a free agent after the 2014 season and will command a giant salary. A salary that the 49ers are unlikely to offer given the list of other players due for a contract extension. If the 49ers take the best player available approach and Yankey somehow falls to them in the second round, Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh may be hard-pressed not to draft the young guard and mold him to take Iupati's place after this season. It wouldn't be a sexy pick but it would be smart.

Our pro day coverage continues tomorrow with: Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri State, Stony Brook, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia.

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