The 49ers are having their post-draft press conference. Coach Singletary is up right now.
The seventh round is wrapping up and it looks like the 49ers are done for the day. Well, they're at least done for the seven round draft. It's entirely possible they'll be busy tonight and tomorrow adding some of the many talented undrafted free agents out there. Here are your newest San Francisco 49ers.
, OT, Rutgers
- Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
- Taylor Mays, S, USC
- Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi State
- Nate Byham, TE, Pittsburgh
- Kyle Williams, WR, Arizona State
- Phillip Adams, CB, South Carolina State.
After the jump, we take a look at today's picks, some of their comments in transcripts, and we begin the discussion on undrafted free agents.
There was a lot of heated dissent in regards to the 49ers day 3 draft choices. The team added a big running back, a blocking tight end, a speedy wide receiver, and a small school corner who likes to get physical. I don't think any of the names jumped out at people, but the players in question can certainly be slotted into specific roles. And given that they were sixth and seventh round picks, the team might feel like they were worth a flyer. I realize guys like Tom Brady and Marques Colston were 6th and 7th round picks, but you don't always roll the dice and hope you'll hit that kind of guy. Sometimes you go for more basic potential needs.
Anthony Dixon is a big bruising type of guy with some speed, although he's certainly not the type of speedy change of pace back many people thought the 49ers would grab. Instead, he seems like more of a big bruiser that can get some speed when needed. I don't know if this is an indictment of the Glen Coffee pick or what, but it certainly has to make Coffee realize he's gonna have to work hard going forward. Gore and Coffee are certainly not speed backs, but they're not traditional "power backs." They're some kind of mix of backs. Dixon could provide the big oversized back the team probably should have grabbed last year over Coffee. The training camp battle between Coffee and Dixon will be interesting.
Nate Byham looks to be primarily a blocking tight end in the Billy Bajema mold. The team drafted Bear Pascoe in the sixth round last year and that ended up being a bust as he was cut before the season. Byham appears to be a better blocker than Pascoe was, so he might actually have a chance of sticking. He'll find himself battling Tony Curtis and Joe Jon Finley in training camp for playing time. Byham is a guy I could definitely see ending up on the practice squad initially. I'd like to see him win out a third tight end spot, but we'll see how that plays out.
Kyle Williams is a speedy, but raw, receiver who will probably get a crack at returning punts initially. The team added Ted Ginn as a return guy, and they've got a whole host of wide receivers, so Williams might find himself in a numbers crunch. He'll need to show impressive return abilities right away if he wants to stick on the roster. He has a lot of speed, which is obviously something you can't coach. He'll need to show more than just speed if he wants to be a 2010 49er, or at least beyond the practice squad.
The 49ers final pick of the day was Phillip Adams, a small but physical cornerback out of South Carolina State University. There isn't a ton of information out there, but he seems like the type of physical player that could endear himself to Coach Singletary. I also think he's a safe bet to end up on the practice squad, at best. The team does have a need at cornerback, which helps him. While they don't need starters, they do need some depth after Spencer, Clements and Brown. Paymah is a guy who could end up in the Marcus Hudson role, with Keith Smith potentially nothing more than a camp body. Adams will definitely be battling those two for playing time.
This final day was a bit anti-climactic after a wildly intriguing first two days. However, we still have undrafted free agents ready to lock up as soon as the draft ends. There is a lot of talent out there, and it probably becomes simply a race to see who gets on the phone first. If you read any updates on undrafted free agents, please post them here for others to see.
RB Anthony Dixon
Conference Call - April 24, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On whether he was surprised to hear from the 49ers:
"I was hoping for this because I'm a 49er fan with [WR] Jerry Rice and those guys. This is my favorite team. You ask anybody that'll talk to you and they'll tell you that. I'm so happy right now I don't know what to do."
On what he did all last night when he didn't go in the first two days:
"I was just trying to be patient, just knowing my chance would come. I knew from visiting with all the teams, what they thought of me and I knew somebody would take a chance on me. I'm just trying to be patient, trying to be cool, like I was telling my family and everybody else, and it just came true."
On whether he expected to be drafted higher because of the resume he put together:
"I definitely felt that I had first round talent and all that. I was just hoping that somebody would give me an opportunity. Me coming from where I came from, being homeless, I just need an opportunity. If I haven't shown them that I'm a first round talent, then I am going to play like it when I get there. I'm just excited and I'm going to do whatever they ask and I'm ready to get to work."
On his background:
"I'm from Jackson, Mississippi. I grew up with my four brothers and my mom. We struggled a lot, like I just told you, we went homeless twice and it's been an uphill fight ever since then. Ever since I was about 10 or 11, I've been fighting and trying to provide for my family and my brothers, and I guess it's just finally coming true. I'm just happy right now. It's been tough. I've been in Jackson all my life, Mississippi all my life, so California is a nice switch up. I can't wait."
On his game:
"Very physical. I embrace the contact. I enjoy contact. I love to practice. I just love the game of football. It's all I want to do - just play football. That's my game. I feel like I can catch. I feel like I can be an every down back for them. I'm coming in now trying to assume my role."
On whether he is the oldest of his four brothers:
"Yes sir, I'm the oldest and I've got one of my brothers under me, he already plays for the Oakland A's organization, so both of us are in California."
On what his brother's name is:
On where he is right now:
"I think its Kane County is who he's playing for. I think it's a low-A team."
On how familiar he is with RBs Frank Gore and Glen Coffee:
"I watch and study these guys. The 49ers are my favorite team. It's a dream come true. Every time these guys come on TV, I try my best to watch them. You ask anybody who knows me, I've been preaching 49ers for years. This is a dream come true."
TE Nate Byham
Conference Call - April 24, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On whether he knows a few players on the current 49ers roster:
"Yes, I've got a few friends over there."
On how close he is to some of the players on the 49ers roster:
"I'm pretty good friends with them. I was actually golfing with [LB] Scott McKillop last week. We went golfing last Thursday. I was actually lifting weights with [CB] Shawntae Spencer three days ago."
On whether those guys talked to him about being drafted by the 49ers:
"Yes, actually I talked to Scott about it in the past. He said that hopefully it would work out and I could be a 49er. He said I'm coming into a great system with a great coaching staff and a coach like [Head] Coach [Mike] Singletary. I'm so happy to be a part of that program."
On run blocking being his forte:
"That's what I pride myself on. I like to bloody noses. I don't shy away from contact. I'm going into the hole and I'm trying to hit somebody. I think that's what makes me unique. There's not too many tight ends these days that want to go in there and try to hurt somebody. I'm trying to inflict pain when I'm in there as a tight end. I'm not trying to get in someone's way. I'm excited to be a part of the hard-nose offense."
On what he knows about tight end Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker:
"I know about Vernon Davis. Obviously, he's a big time tight end who is a great, great receiver and he's very fast. I know he's a pretty good blocker himself. I know he doesn't shy away from contact either, which I think will make us a good group."
On what makes him relish being a hard-nose player:
"That's something I pride myself on. I've had coaches like [University of Pittsburgh Head] Coach Dave Wannstedt and others all throughout high school, as well those who pride themselves on old school, hard-nose football teams who play defense and run the ball. I've been a part of these top programs all my life. We've always prided ourselves in being able to run the ball and I always pride myself on making holes for great running backs that I've been blocking for."
On whether he has met with tight ends coach Pete Hoener:
"I have not."
On which 49ers officials he met with:
"I think I just talked to the actual scouts at the combine. I actually haven't had a whole lot of contact with the 49ers as of today. It's been a great surprise and I couldn't be more happy about it."
On whether he took any visits:
"I did not. I just did a lot of workouts here. I never took any visits."
On who won the golf outing when he played with linebacker Scott McKillop:
"I think my team went -6. It was a scramble so I think we took Scott."
On whether he inflicted any pain in the golf outing:
"No, I may try and get in there. There's a good chance Scott and I could be bumping heads in practice. That will be nice, like old times."
On his upbringing:
"I was raised by my grandfather. I've never met my father and my mom has had a lot of drug and alcohol issues and a lot of personal issues all throughout my life. I've been in and out of a lot of houses. A lot of close friends have helped me out. I've always been with my grandfather. He's been my rock and he's taken care of me. He's sitting next to me now. It's a great feeling for both of us. We're both very proud. This is a great moment for us."
On what his grandfathers name is:
On his current location:
"I'm actually at my girlfriend's house right outside of Pittsburgh."
On his itinerary:
"I have two finals this week. I have a final on Tuesday and Wednesday and I'm going to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. Once I get that done I'm ready to start focusing on football. "
On what his degree is in:
"I'm a major in communications rhetoric and a minor in computer science."
WR Kyle Williams
Conference Call - April 24, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
On his background in the Bay Area:
"I was actually born in San Jose and I spent a lot of my younger years there until we moved out to Chicago. I was there as a youngin'. My grandparents are still in San Jose. I've got a lot of cousins that are in the San Francisco area, Oakland area. That's home, right there. That's basically my second home. I grew up there. I was born there and I'm just happy to get a chance to go back."
On how it is that he's not a baseball player:
"It's kind of crazy. I'm kind of the oddball of the family because everybody did baseball. I kind of ventured my own way, but it's one of those things where people said that I couldn't do it. I wasn't good enough to do it. I had to prove them otherwise. I'm one of those guys when somebody tells me I can't do something, I'm going to start to do it just to prove them wrong. I've done that and this is huge. I'm so excited right now. So excited."
On whether this is better than getting selected in the 47th round of the baseball draft:
"Yes, 100 percent better, 200 percent better. This is a dream since I was a kid and I told [Wide Receivers] Coach [Jerry] Sullivan earlier, my brother's been a Niners fan his entire life so I've been fortunate enough to watch every Niners game when I was growing up so I'm super excited about this. This is huge."
On whether he used to go out to games at Candlestick Park:
"No, I didn't get to go to any games because I was just a young guy when I was out there. But again, watching every single game on TV every Sunday - faithful Niners fans in my family and I know my grandmother is ecstatic right now that I get to play a couple minutes from her. They love it right now. They are so excited , I can tell."
On how he fits in the return game:
"I'm going to fit in any way that I can. I know we've got Mr. [WR Ted] Ginn [Jr.] over there now. So I don't know if that means I'm going to have to spell him or if he gets a more prominent role in the offense, if I'm going to have to step in, but I'm definitely able to punt return and kick return and do whatever they need from me. If I need to go down there and cover punts, I'm doing that. If they need me to long snap, I'll do that. Anything they need me to do, I'm game. I just want to be on that field."
On his style as a route runner:
"I normally work out of the slot for the most part, which I think will complement our offense over there. I'm a quick guy, elusive, I can get up and get on people's toes and create separation with my speed down the field and I'm able to stop quick on a dime and get in and out of breaks. I just need to get back on the field and do it. The waiting process is the worst part. I just need to get back on the field and play some football."
On whether he worked his last year in college to add some bulk:
"Yes, since the year ended I got a little bigger. I think I put on about 9 or 10 pounds. Now I think I'm weighing about 195. Where when I was at ASU, I was playing around 185,186. I got a little meat on me just to be able to take these NFL type hits. It didn't slow me down at all. At my pro day, I weighed in at 193 and I was still able to run a 4.3 flat, so I'm still fast and I'm still going to be the same player, just a little bit more bulk on me."
On how he seems to be familiar with the team already:
"I'm just one of those guys that doesn't really turn NFL Network off so I know what's going on in the league, as much as a fan can know. I know what's going on as far as who's on the team and personnel and the style of offense for the most part, so just being able to be on the same field, the same system as [WR Michael] Crabtree, [WR] Ted Ginn, [TE] Vernon Davis and [RB] Frank Gore, it's a great opportunity and I think that we will be able to make some noise. I know I just got on the squad a couple days ago. I still have to prove myself and make the team, but I feel like I'm going to get in there and I'm going to do that and I feel like we are going to have a tight offensive attack."
On whether he was hoping he would get drafted by the Bears:
"A little bit. I was really hoping to get drafted. I'm one of those guys, where I just want an opportunity and I wasn't one of the highest rated guys. I got picked in the sixth round obviously. I just wanted to get picked. I'm one of those guys, I'm grateful for every opportunity that I get. I got this one and I'm going to take full advantage of it."