Fooch's Note: Rookie minicamp is a wrap, but I thought this was a quality FanPost taking a look at the various tryout candidates that were in town. The 49ers decision to waive/injured Luke Marquardt opens up a roster spot, so one of these guys could end up on the roster sooner rather than later.
We are in dog days of Niner’s news especially with minicamp taking place under lockdown behind the Harbaalke curtain. I was having a little draft withdrawal so what better time to breakdown our tryout guys so we can determine which minicamp superstar will be our future. A lot of them are guys with Bay Area roots so it’s hard not to cheer for each of them making the 90 man roster. FB/ILB Patrick Su’a has special teams ace potential, and Viliami Moala is a talented developmental prospect who might have been drafted had he opted to stay another year at Cal. Chase Thomas was productive at Stanford and a Fangio favorite. So if you were still thirsting after UDFA reports, here’s your tryout candidate rundown.
TE Taylor Sloat, UC Davis: 6-4 245 lbs. Taylor was in the Buccaneers Mini-camp as well. Like any good TE developmental prospect he has a basketball background in high school. Sloat had 30 receptions for 428 yards his senior year. He showed good hands at Bucs minicamp. From the Pewter Report: "Tryout tight end Taylor Sloat from UC-Davis made a tremendous one-handed diving catch on the right sideline near the end of the one-on-one session. His great catch obviously won’t make as much noise as the tremendous catch Mike Evans made on Friday, but it was one of the best plays at Saturday’s practice. Sloat delivers a strong punch as a blocker and has shown decent hands, but he has struggled to get separation and at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, he doesn’t offer great size."
LB Colin Kelly, UC Davis: 6-3 235 lbs. JC Transfer played outside linebacker at College of San Mateo. A big Soccer fan, Kelly ran a 5.0 40 with a 26 inch vertical coming out of highschool, numbers he most likely improved those numbers at his pro day but details were hard to find. Aggie fans feel free to add comments.
LB Chase Thomas, Stanford: 6-4 245 lbs. Per Vic Fangio in 2011 "He was born to play football." Thomas went undrafted in 2013 and failed to catch on with an NFL team. Prior to the draft he had high grades despite average to below average measurables. NFL.com gave him a draftable grade and CBS listed him as a 3-4 round prospect. Like Skov or Borland, he received a lot of descriptions like "high effort" and "Great intangibles." Thomas had excellent productivity at Stanford with 16 sacks over his last two years and he’s very familiar with Fangio’s system. Watching video of Thomas against Notre Dame his lack of athleticism showed against future NFL talent and you can watch plenty of video of Thomas as Draftbreakdown.
RB Anthony Wilkerson, Stanford: 5-10 216 lbs. Tyler Gaffney’s backup in 2013. Ran a pedestrian 4.69 40 at Stanford pro-day but showed some explosiveness with 37.5 inch vertical and 9’8" broad jump. 84 rushes for 353 for 4.2 ypa.
NT Viliami Moala, Cal: 6-1 336 lbs. My sleeper. Came out as a Junior. This guy was DOMINANT in high school and a highly reguarded five-star recruit. Moala struggled with his weight at Cal and ballooned up to 390 lbs. Moala started to put it together as a junior and started 11 games registering 37 tackles. Cal fans may have more insight but in brief film study he looks quick off the line with good hustle and recognition. He’s athletic for a big guy and played rugby in high school. If he can make it to the practice squad with a year of NFL conditioning and development under Coach Tomsula, I could see him as a rotational Nose guard in the Ian Williams mold.
WR Jerry Rice Jr., UNLV: 5-10 185 lbs. Son of GOAT. Plenty written about the UNLV wider receiver already.
WR Kevin Cummings, Oregon State: 6-1 184 lbs. Good height and decent speed (4.48 - 40) Needs to get stronger, put up an AJ Jenkins like 13 reps at his pro day (AJ muscled up just 12). Played the slot for OSU. In 9 games, he had 25 receptions for 299 yards (11.96 Avg ypc) before hurting his wrist. His dad played for the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL. In this highlight video he seems to make a lot of catches in traffic and does a good job holding onto the ball after getting popped.
DB Courtney Avery, Michigan: 5-9 172 lbs. Nickel Corner/Free Safety. Ran a 4.72 40 at his pro day with 36.5 a inch vertical and put up 17 reps on the bench. Team Captain at Michigan. Made the game sealing interception vs. Ohio State in 2011. Seems like a bit of an overachiever/high character guy: TFY Draft insider had this to say: "Adequate college cornerback best facing the action. Lacks long speed and struggles making plays with his back to the ball."
FB Patrick Su’a, Fresno State: 6-1 241 lbs. A poor man’s Owen Merecic. Su’a played both ILB and Fullback for FSU. He’s got good speed for a fullback running a 4.7 40 and was named special teams player of the year as a sophomore. His rugby background speaks to his athleticism and though we are stacked at fullback once Millard recovers he could catch on as a special teams ace. This is a really bad video showing some special teams prowess.
TE Kane Friel, BYU: 6-4 254 lbs. 4.84 40. A former Eagle Scout from Hawaii Friel often played in the slot a lot at BYU. Had a great junior year with 30 catches for 308 yards which got him named to the 2013 CFPA Tight End Trophy Watch List and the John Mackey Award Watch List. Friel fell off considerably his senior year with only 11 catches for 128 yards. Seems to have good hands and looks like a good blocker. Draft Insider gives a nice blurb: "He possesses the size and pass-catching skill to make a roster as a third tight end in a West Coast or timing offense."
TE Kevin Greene, USC: 6-3 247 lbs. Greene is an interesting prospect that played at high school at Sacred Heart in Oakland. First thing that jumps out is his 4.54 40 at USC’s pro day (Marqise Lee ran 4.52). He was a DE/OLB who changed positions due team needs. Never started, appeared in 37 games as special teamer or pass rush specialist. Battled a lot of injuries and position changes. Here’s a nice fumble sac recovery at the 7:42 minute mark and interview after his pro day.
CB Drayton Allen-Calhoun, Middle Tennessee State: 5-10 190 lbs. Ran a 4.5 40. Looks like he initially went to LSU where he was recruited as a Super Prep All American and a 4 star recruit per Rivals. He was a running back in high school but move to CB at LSU. He transferred to Middle Tennessee State after his freshman year. He sat out a year and played RB in 2012. In spring 2013, he moved back to corner, but also provided depth at running back.
CB Cameron Fuller, New Mexico State: 5-10 178 lbs. 4.53 40 with a 37 inch vertical. Juco transfer from Contra Costa, played at Berkeley High School. Started 10 of 12 games his Senior Year at New Mexico. NFLdraftscout.com rates him 159 out of 220 CBs.
LS Jimmy Davenport: From Cam Inman: "Among the 15 players trying out is long snapper Jimmy Davenport, the grandson of former Giants third baseman and manager Jim Davenport. The younger Davenport attended Newark Memorial High, played four years in the Seattle Mariners’ farm system and resumed his football career at Chabot College and Faulkner University in Alabama. Davenport said he was a 'little starstruck' seeing Harbaugh."