March keeps rolling on, and free agents continue to find new homes, changing the landscape of the draft season. Thursday features pro days from Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Princeton, South Dakota, UNLV, Washington State, Wyoming.
Justin Gilbert, Cornerback: One of the most highly touted cornerbacks in the draft, as well as an electric return man, Gilbert should have no trouble putting together a good pro day. Gilbert is a likely top 15 selection and has a chance to be the first cornerback drafted in May. Gilbert was impressive in drills at the combine, and his combination of speed (4.37 forty) and strength (20 bench reps) is impressive.
De' Anthony Thomas, Running Back: Thomas comes from the fast-paced Oregon scheme, but he wasn't exactly fast himself at the combine, running a disappointing time of 4.50. Thomas is a lot faster than that time and has the ability to run a sub 4.4 forty. Thomas will find a home in the NFL and has more upside than Lamichael James. Not only does Thomas run the rock, he also is involved in the passing game, and can return punts/kicks.
Joshua Huff, Wide Receiver: An up-tempo offense requires players that have endurance, and Huff displayed that in his career at Oregon. A standout at the Senior Bowl, Huff is physical and acrobatic, able to out-muscle corners and make spectacular catches. Consistency has been an issue of his, as he isn't always a clean route runner and he needs to limit dropped passes. After putting together a season in which he had 1,140 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns, Huff projects as a mid-round prospect.
Deone Bucannon, Safety: While the 49ers have their safety of the near future in Antoine Bethea, it doesn't mean they won't pursue a rookie at the position. Bucannon needs a little extra seasoning and time to develop fully, but man oh man is there upside attached to him. He has height at 6'1", speed (4.49 forty), thump (211 hard hitting pounds), and explosiveness (36.5 inch vertical). I like Bucannon's run stopping ability already and he plays well going downhill. In coverage he has good awareness when he's allowed to freelance and go with his instincts. In man coverage there is progress to be made, as he can sometimes be a little stiff. I'd love for the 49ers to draft this guy and see what he becomes.
Is there anyone you're keeping an eye on today?