Ravens beat writer and general NFL insider Aaron Wilson is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers visited with Central Michigan safety Jahleel Addae. There is no word on when the visit occurred, although I believe it would have been before this past Wednesday as that was the last day for teams to host players.
Per Wilson, Addae was a three-year starter and is considered one of the best defensive players in the MAC. This past year he intercepted four passes and had 89 tackles. He was named second team All-MAC, a year after being named first team All-MAC. He played in the East-West Shrine Game, but did not take part in the NFL Combine. At the Central Michigan Pro Day, Addae measured in at 5'10, 195 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds.
I did some scouring around the Internet as I knew nothing of Addae before reading this news. There was a lot of preview content surrounding the Shrine Game, and I think two pieces stand out. The Tampa Bay Times had an extensive feature on Addae that is worth reading.
Also, our friends at Bleeding Green Nation had an extensive Shrine Game preview in which author Dan Klausner extolled the virtues of Addae. Klausner described Addae as a hard hitter. While Addae is listed as a strong safety, Klausner thinks he showed some positive signs in coverage, and had surprisingly good ball skills. Here are a few of this thoughts on Addae. I recommend reading the whole thing over in his Shrine Game preview.
The first time I ever got to see Addae play was the Little Caesars Bowl versus Western Kentucky, and he impressed the hell out of me with his versatility, physicality and intelligence -- knew game situations, had a calming influence, orchestrated the defense pre-snap. Lined up all over the formation; was no doubt the captain and emotional leader of that unit. Addae's awareness and heads up ability both stood out, and the plays that cemented me as a believer came back-to-back halfway through the 4th quarter in the Little Caesars Bowl. Fast forward to 2:02:33 of this clip and watch. That's Addae, recognizing the screen at the snap, deftly shedding a would-be blocker and tripping up the RB at the line of scrimmage. Then it's Addae again on the punt block, tracking and hustling after the play to fall on the fumble, which would've been a first down for Western Kentucky had they recovered since Central Michigan players touched the ball.
What makes Addae different, however, is that he's ... typically a disciplined and dependable tackler. Combine that with how well fast he closes (which you can also see on display when he blitzes), and you have a disruptive force who makes plays all over the field.
The 49ers front office always finds a way to surprise us with some of their picks. The 49ers need depth at safety. That being said, while free safety seems more pressing, strong safety should be on the radar in terms of long-term options. Addae could potentially be a guy who can contribute on special teams right away, and then work his way into the safety rotation in some form or fashion. We'll see.