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Niners Nation Scouting Report: Brandon Gibson, WR Washington State

Many of you may be wondering who Brandon Gibson is and why we're bothering with a scouting report on him?  After all, he's the 18th ranked wide receiver according to ESPN and doesn't scream any particular abilities.  Over at Draft Tek, he's projected as a late 4th round pick.  Big deal right?

Well, I bring him up because of an article I read over at the blogs.  Gibson held a private workout in Seattle and fifteen teams were present, including 49ers Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke.  The 49ers send reps to see a lot of players, but when it's someone higher than a scout, my ears perk up.

Furthermore, it's probably a pretty safe bet that the 49ers will draft a wide receiver this year.  And with tomorrow's April Fool's deadline for Isaac Bruce to make up his mind, those odds could increase dramatically.  And of course we'll have plenty of coverage of any Bruce decision tomorrow.

For now though, I thought we'd take a look at Brandon Gibson.  He's 6'0, 210 lbs and at his Pro Day, held in light rain, he ran the 40-yard dash three times in a 5-mph wind, running in 4.63 seconds against the wind and 4.58 and 4.60 seconds with it. He also had a 34-inch vertical leap, a 9-foot, 5-inch broad jump, and times of 4.54 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.94 seconds in the three-cone drill.

I looked over his ESPN Scouting Report and he was listed as a 2 (out of 5=above average) in all the various categories.  Most notable:

Ball Skills: A natural pass catcher who shows the ability to come up with tough catch.  Is loose in the hips allowing him to open up and make catch throws behind him.  Possesses the ability to go down and dig out the low throw

Separation Skills: A smooth route runner who displays good body control.  Does a nice job of attacking defenders and gaining initial leverage while working his stem.  Tempos routes well and comes out of breaks quickly. Lacks initial burst off the line of scrimmage.

Gibson's numbers dropped his senior year, but that was due in large part to being on a crappy Washington State team:

2005 9 172 19.1 66 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2006 49 731 14.9 91 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2007 67 1180 17.6 67 9 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2008 57 673 11.8 43 2 10 19 1.9 17 0 0 0

From what I've read, he's not fast, but he has a certain level of "football speed" about him (a phrase I think I just made up).  To compare, Jerry Rice wasn't super fast but he had a certain football speed about him.  Gibson is no Jerry Rice, but hopefully that comparison makes sense.  If not, just ignore it.

After the jump, we take a look at Mocking the Draft's scouting report on Brandon Gibson, along with some closing thoughts...

Our own Mocking the Draft put together a scouting report and had some interest comments:

Strengths: Known to have great work ethic . . . Competes for the ball in the traffic very well.  Does a good job adjusting to the ball in the air and making a play on poor passes. Catches the ball consistently at its highest point. Maintains good concentration when the ball is coming from over his shoulder and he knows a defender is bearing down on him. While Gibson is not the best blocker around, he gives a good effort. Strong enough to hold up a block for more than just a brief period of time.

Weaknesses: Only average hands. Had some struggles early during the 2008 season with dropped passes. Takes a while to get up to speed. Has a hard time breaking away in the open field. Could do a better job finding a hole in a zone and sitting in it. Below-average quickness and agility for a receiver. Not very slippery after the catch, Gibson won’t make many defenders miss on tackles. Has never gotten many yards after the catch. Benefited from playing Washington State’s spread, particularly his first three years with Alex Brink as his quarterback. Doesn’t have great agility or quick-twitch muscles. While Gibson has been mostly healthy his entire college career, he’s had some injuries linger on him.

They project him as a 5th round pick, which seems consistent with other sources.  Draft Tek had him the second to last pick of the 4th round, so that seems reasonable, all around.  I put him out there to see if folks here would be interested in him, or if you'd rather use that 4th/5th round pick elsewhere, be it another wide receiver or another position. 

Personally, I'm intrigued by anybody who's willing to go across the middle and has a great work ethic.  If Josh Morgan and Brandon Jones will be the big play guys, Gibson could be a great complement to Jason Hill.