Chances are by now you've heard the name Donte Moncrief when it comes to NFL Draft prospects. He put on a relative show at the Combine, running 4.40 in the 40, jumping 132" in the broad, with a 39.5" vertical leap. He was a deep threat on tape, too, which has many buzzing about the Ole Miss product.
I've seen nine games, a few times each, and while I admit that Moncrief is an athletic guy, I am not sure I'm as high on him as others. He really has a lot to work on, and color me un-sure that the 49ers are the team who goes and develops WRs via the draft...It's not exactly been their strongest position when it comes to college scouting.
Let's get to the observations of Moncrief's game.
The aforementioned speed and quickness is on display on the tape. He is quick off the line and has speed down the field. He can get off press coverage with his athleticism most of the time. In open space he kinda reminds me of Mario Manningham (the one who had good knees and played well for those few years). He gives effort as a blocker and there are plenty of instances of this on the tape as well.
I'm just gonna come right out and say it...Moncrief does not have good hands. Some will argue and give a myriad of excuses as to why he drops passes, but there are plenty of well-placed footballs that he simply drops of his own volition. He loves to cradle the ball into his gut, often leaving his feet for passes unnecessarily. If he has to go up and get it with his hands, there's a decent chance it's going to hit the ground.
He's a little rough around the edges in the blocking game, despite his effort, and he also could use coaching to knock defender's hands off him. He did get held a fair amount but didn't seem to do anything about it. That won't fly against the Seattle Seaholders.
All-in-all I wouldn't be in favor of investing a first or even second round pick on Moncrief. The big plays are few and far between and it seems he has a long way to go - and who knows if he even can improve upon his hands - before he will produce more than some spot deep-bomb type plays in the NFL.
Again, the 49ers haven't developed a receiver into anything of significance via the draft. Heck, they really specialize in things falling into their laps at the position. I wouldn't have confidence that Moncrief would prosper in SF, though he probably will do so elsewhere. Fit is everything, and until further notice, the 49ers don't seem to be the place for a guy like Moncrief.
Here are a few of his drops, for perspective: