Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net is reporting the San Francisco 49ers are going to bring in Georgia State wide receiver Albert Wilson for an "official visit". Wilson tweeted that he would be heading to the west coast on April 14, and confirmed it was for his visit to the 49ers.
Over the last couple months, we've heard numerous reports about the 49ers meeting with players at the NFL Combine, at Pro Days, and in a variety of situations. One that we have not heard a lot about is the "official visit". Each NFL team is allowed to bring a maximum of 30 draft prospects into town for a visit. The 30 visits do not include "local" prospects, but rather players that are brought in from out of town.
Former GM Charley Casserly put together a few thoughts on what player visits entail:
The NFL allows teams to bring in 30 players from out of town and an unlimited number from your city. Some of these visits are for top-rated players you want to spend more time with. At the combine, you only have 15 minutes to meet with a player privately. At the pro-day visit in March, it is impossible for all of the members of your staff to be there. So now, the whole organization has the ability to asses the player. You cannot work out the player unless he lives locally. One of our strategies was to have a young member of our scouting staff pick up the player at the airport. Many times, the player would be more candid with a young scout closer to his age. I always wanted to know what each prospect said to our scout.
Teams can bring in a player for a variety of reasons, including just to learn more about them as a potential opponent. In the case of Wilson, the 49ers could be looking at him as a potential late round pick, or even undrafted free agent. If he were to go undrafted, the scrum for undrafted free agents ends up as every man for himself. Getting a visit in with a potential candidate would make it easier to make a quick decision on this.
Over at NFL.com, their Combine report describes a guy with very good speed (ran a 4.43 40) and can take a hit, but lacks strength to beat jams at the line. It makes sense that they would in turn describe him as a potential slot receiver candidate. His biggest contribution early in his NFL career would seemingly be on special teams as a return man.
If you have had a chance to watch Wilson, please contribute your two cents in the comments. Otherwise, here is some video Draft Breakdown put together from his performance this past season against Troy.