Two weeks ago, we debuted the scouting report with Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. Okoye has certainly made a name for himself since then with impressive Senior Bowl workouts, followed by a solid Senior Bowl game performance. He is definitely on our radar and would make one heck of an addition.
However, it's possible the 49ers could fill the holes on our front seven through free agency, as this is an especially strong year for defensive free agents. If that happens, the team may decide to snag a wide receiver with that 11th pick. The two primary considerations at WR that would be available at the 11th pick are Dwayne Jarrett and Ted Ginn. Today, with a little help from SB Nation's USC blog, Conquest Chronicles, we present 5 questions about Dwayne Jarrett.
NN: Clearly Jarrett is quite a talent. However, the Rose Bowl showed an attitude that might discourage a team that has been burned by bad apples in the past (TO in the 49ers case). Was that just excitement for a big game (and his last college game as it turns out)? Or is this something that has been an issue in the past and could continue in the future?
CC: That was not typical at all, and it is deeply irritating that people who saw him in one game are making TO comparisons. It's unlikely to continue in the future, and he's certainly no T.O. When I think of quintessential Jarrett plays, I think of him catching the 4th & 9 pass against Notre Dame in 2005, or the catch he made for a TD in the 2006 Rose Bowl when 2 Texas players came at him so hard that they injured one another, and he stayed upright and then got the score.
NN: It's hard to get a handle on the type of speed Jarrett brings to the table. Mel Kiper said, "...Also has better quickness out of his break than people give him credit for." Is he a deceptively fast guy or does he have clear cut break away speed? Or in the NFL would he become a guy who mostly goes over the middle?
CC: He's both deceptively fast and has good breakaway speed. He accelerates very quickly after making the catch, so he can be used for short-yardage slants into space, passes over the middle into coverage, and longer passes.
NN: (This was asked before Smardzija decided on baseball, but CC's answer tells us more about Jarrett) In his current big board, Mel Kiper has Jarrett 14th overall and the 3rd receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Jeff Samardzija. He says he would drop him to 4th if Ginn declares for the draft. Assuming Johnson is off the board, what does Jarrett bring to the table that a big guy like Samadzija, or a speedy guy like Ginn might lack, or might need to improve?
CC: I don't rate Samardizja that highly, I think he's a show pony: makes good catches, but you can't count on him to take the punishment. When Jarrett dropped the ball in the end zone during the Rose Bowl, I was frankly stunned -- usually he can take a beating and hold onto the ball. Jarrett may not be as fast as Ginn or make quite so many circus catches as Johnson, but he's a pretty complete receiver in terms of the types of passing routes that he can run. In terms of areas of improvement, he wasn't the go-to guy for clinical route-running, that was Steve Smith, so that's one area for improvement.
NN: Will Jarrett join many WRs in taking 2-3 years to really break out, or will he be an instant impact guy?
CC: I think he can be an instant impact guy if whatever teams takes him can get the schemes right. If they try and start him as a precision route-runner, it's going to take a while. If they take advantage of his speed after a catch and ability to reel in iffy passes, he can contribute pretty soon.
NN: Where in the first round do you see him going and realistically (taking your USC hat off for a minute) what kind of career do you foresee for him?
CC: I'd be surprised if he wasn't in the top 20 -- he's the sort of guy that anyone could use, and if I was a team with lower draft picks and gaps at receiver I'd seriously consider working some kind of deal to get him. In terms of career, I think it's going to depend on how well he copes with change. When Jarrett came to SC, he struggled with the change of moving to the East Coast and adapting to college. At the beginning of this season, he was not as productive as usual. Some of that was attributable to injury, and some of it was attitude -- he had been tight with Matt Leinart on and off the field, and I had the impression that he was struggling with not being the automatic go-to guy. If he focuses on getting to camp and managing the football side of things, hopefully he can minimize the effects of all the other changes, and given a decent start I can see him having a pretty good Pro-Bowl kind of career.
So there you have it. Personally I wouldn't mind a legit threat like Dwayne Jarrett in the red and gold. I think he would improve the rest of the receiving corp, and in turn Alex Smith. And if THAT happens, that means defenses will have to play a little more honestly and not stick 8 men in the box knowing they won't get beat deep. Win, Win, Win. So thanks again to Conquest Chronicles for discussing Jarrett. And just a reminder, if you want to post here, just Click Here to create a new account and post to your heart's content.