We are continuing our weekly series, Scouting 49ers' Scouts, where each week we will highlight some of the draft-eligible players from the games 49ers' scouts were credentialed. The Internet, and Twitter in particular, provide some insight into where NFL teams are sending scouts for college football games. We will likely never know the full list of games, but it does give us some insight. Thanks to the folks at NFL.com's College Football 24/7, we have a look at some of the Week 4 action where 49ers' scouts were credentialed to attend.
Maryland vs. West Virginia
Maryland has three draft-eligible candidates 49ers' scouts are likely keeping an eye on. Junior CB William Likely, No. 4, is an explosive fantastic athlete with video game-like agility, burst, and quickness. Although only 5'7", Likely displays amazing fluidity, light feet, impressive change of direction skills, great instincts, and solid ball skills. His size will limit him on the defensive side of the ball at the next level (slot corner); however, Likely will bring tremendous value on special teams in the return game, where he is one of the top return specialists in college football. Likely's stats through four games: 12 PR, 337 YDS, 28.1 AVG, 2 TD - 7 KR, 152 YDS, 21.7 AVG.
Another Maryland defensive back likely on 49ers' radar is CB Sean Davis, No. 21, a versatile corner (can also play safety) with a great combination of size (6'1"), speed, physicality, and athleticism. Likely considered a boundary corner at the next level, Davis also brings value as a very solid special teams player in coverage units.
With 49ers' Phil Dawson playing on the last year of his contract, and the Niners surprising 5th round 2015 draft selection of a punter in Bradley Pinion, it should not be surprising if the Niners go back-to-back years in drafting a special teams player. Maryland showcases one of the best kickers in college football in the Australian born K Brad Craddock, No. 15. Craddock, the 2014 Lou Groza Award Winner for the best kicker in the nation, came to Maryland as a punter, but quickly transitioned over to kicker with the continuous aid and coaching of former Baltimore Raven's Pro Bowl kicker, Matt Stover. The former soccer, tennis, track, and Australian Rules football player has also shown versatility as a punter recently (initially what he was recruited as), where he has been utilized as a situational punter with his impressive pin-point accuracy on directional punts. No doubt, the 49ers crave the versatility the Aussie bestows.
49ers' scouts are also likely keeping an eye on three draft-eligible prospects from West Virginia. Junior RB Rushel Shell, No. 7, is an elusive running back with a great combination of size (5'10 - 221 lbs.), athleticism, speed, quickness, and power. Shell displays great vision and balance bringing power behind his pads and the speed to run away from defenders. OT Marquis Lucas, No. 78, brings a nice combination of size, strength, and versatility. The West Virginia right tackle, likely a guard at the next level, displays a good punch, hand usage, and balance to impede defenders, along with nice technique and anchors well in pass protection.
Two safety prospects to keep an eye on are SS Karl Joseph, No. 8 and SS KJ Dillon, No. 9. Karl Joseph, a thumper as a defensive back, is a physical player that loves to make the big hits, which at times is a liability when it comes to tackling. Nevertheless, Joseph displays great athleticism, instincts, aggressiveness, and a fearless mentality defensive coaches love seeing in their defensive players. KJ Dillon has a great combination of size, length (long arms), and athleticism. Dillon showcases impressive skills in coverage displaying good instincts and nice ball skills; moreover, he is aggressive in run support and is a solid tackler.
Other West Virginia players 49ers' scouts are likely keeping an eye on are: FB Cody Clay, No. 88 and ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, No. 35.
* = indicates junior status
RB Brandon Ross, No. 45, 5'10 - 205 lbs., 4.58 40 - Maryland (UFA)
OG Andrew Zeller, No. 66, 6'5 - 315 lbs., 5.31 40 - Maryland (UFA)
CB *William Likely, No. 4, 5'7 - 176 4.47 40 - Maryland (4th-5th)
CB Sean Davis, No. 21, 6'1 - 200 lbs., 4.53 40 - Maryland (6th-7th)
FS Anthony Nixon, No. 20, 6'0 - 205 lbs., 4.58 40 - Maryland (UFA)
K Brad Craddock, No. 15, 6'0 - 192 4.88 40 - Maryland (6th-7th)
RB *Rushel Shell, No. 7, 5'10 - 221 lbs., 4.57 40 - West Virginia (5th-6th) Transfer from Pitt.
FB Cody Clay, No. 88, 6'3 - 265 lbs., 4.88 40 - West Virginia (7th-UFA)
WR KJ Myers, No. 19, 6'2 - 196 lbs., 4.62 40 - West Virginia (UFA)
OT Marquis Lucas, No. 78, 6'4 - 318 lbs., 5.28 40 - West Virginia (7th)
DT Kyle Rose, No. 93, 6'4 - 294 lbs., 5.12 40 - West Virginia UFA)
ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, No. 35, 6'2 - 235 - 4.78 40 - West Virginia (7th-UFA)
SS Karl Joseph, No. 8, 5'11 - 197 lbs., 4.57 40 - West Virginia (5th-6th)
SS KJ Dillon, No. 9, 6'0 - 203 lbs., 4.59 40 - West Virginia (5th-6th)
P Nick O'Toole, No. 91, 6'4 - 228 lbs., 5.05 40 - West Virginia (UFA)
LS John DePalma, No. 87, 6'5 - 252 lbs., 5.09 40 - West Virginia (UFA)
UCLA vs. Arizona
The UCLA vs. Arizona match-up was a special game of note, because 49ers' GM Trent Baalke was in attendance. UCLA has several draft-eligible players the 49ers are likely targeting, but what makes Baalke's attendance intensely intriguing, is that three of the top four draft-eligible prospects from UCLA are out for the season with season ending injuries (Baalke's spidey senses are tingling). All three of these injured players are ripe for what I like to refer to as a Baalke Delight (#BaalkeDelight). We all know the proclivity of Baalke drafting injured players and "red-shirting" them on the backend of the 49ers roster. With a potential of several compensatory picks, and possibly a combined 11 draft picks in total, it is quite possible Baalke continues to take advantage of the market inefficiencies in selecting injured college players.
The first potential #BaalkeDelight is the extremely talented and explosive athlete in junior OLB Myles Jack, No. 30, is out for the year with an anterior meniscus injury suffered last week during practice. The injury is likely to keep him sidelined 4-6 months. Jack's athleticism and skills are insane. He plays with tremendous vision and awareness, a very explosive and reliable tackler, can line up on the inside and outside with solid coverage skills (need a guy to cover your wide receiver on the outside in a pinch, Jack is your man), and he could easily be a high round draft prospect as a running back as well. Jack would be a stellar fit as an inside linebacker in the 49ers 3-4 defense, but with his versatility, he can be utilized practically anywhere. There is a possibility Jack may receive a medical redshirt and return to UCLA the following season; however, it has been reported Jack has a $5 million insurance policy to protect against injury, which tends to be a precursor of one entering the draft. Case in point, our very own Arik Armstead, a junior last year at Oregon, purchased a large disability policy prior to the start of the 2014 collegiate season.
The two other potential #BaalkeDelight draft-eligible prospects are junior DT Eddie Vanderdoes, No. 47; and CB Fabian Moreau, No. 10. Vanderdoes tore his ACL in the season opener. He is a powerful run stuffer in the middle that eats up blockers and has solid vision. He could redshirt this year and come back to UCLA the following season, but his impressive skill-set could turn heads and entice him to declare for the draft. Fabian Moreau was lost to the season with a Lisfranc injury (foot injury). The senior, displayed tremendous athleticism and speed to go along with his impressive fluidity and nice ball skills. Converted from the running back position, Moreau is still relatively raw to the position, but has been steadily developing. He could very likely apply for a medical redshirt and return to UCLA to polish up his skills, or take his talents to the next level.
Moving on from the injury plagued UCLA prospects, we look at a player that is actually not suffering from a season ending injury. UCLA's junior DT Kenny Clark, No. 97, is a beast of a man clogging up the middle as a powerful immovable run stuffer with great explosion. Clark easily takes on multiple blockers freeing up his line backers to roam freely in order to chase down the ball carrier. He also shows versatility to play nose guard and the five-technique.
Another Bruin to keep an eye on: WR Jordan Payton, No. 9.
Arizona had a scare early in the season when they nearly lost their stud star player for the season. The junior ILB Scooby Wright III, No. 33, went down in the season opener with an apparent knee injury. Luckily, Scooby escaped with only meniscus damage and showed resiliency by playing against UCLA, albeit a bit rusty. Unfortunately, Scooby suffered a foot injury in the UCLA match-up and will be out several weeks, so health is definitely something to keep an eye on with him. Nevertheless, Scooby has amazing instincts and a tremendous nose for the ball. With his continuous high effort and good tackling skills, Scooby is always a huge factor in disrupting offenses utilizing his impressive strength and athleticism. The fundamentally sound linebacker is a good projection inside in the 49ers 3-4 scheme. His gap penetration, awareness, burst, and spin moves off blockers are no doubt impressive and appears to have a similar game of that of the retired Chris Borland. Scooby may not be overly athletic as say Myles Jack, but he is a true football player with the instincts to be extremely reliable at the next level.
Other Arizona players to keep an eye on are: WR Cayleb Jones, No. 1; OT Lene Maiava, No. 77; DE Reggie Gilbert, No. 8; and SS William Parks, No. 11.
WR Jordan Payton, No. 9, 6'0 - 213 lbs., 4.54 40 - UCLA (5th-6th)
WR Devin Fuller, No. 7, 5'11 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - UCLA (UFA)
C Jake Brendel, No. 54, 6'3 - 290 lbs., 5.16 40 - UCLA (UFA)
DT *Kenny Clark, No. 97, 6'3 - 308 lbs., 5.22 40 - UCLA (1st)
DT *Eddie Vanderdoes, No. 47, 6'3 - 305 lbs., 5.17 40 - UCLA (2017?) Transfer from Notre Dame. Torn ACL during Week 1 game. Out for year.
OLB *Myles Jack, No. 30, 6'1 - 232 lbs., 4.56 40 - UCLA (1st) Out the year with a torn anterior meniscus injury.
OLB Aaron Wallace, No. 51, 6'2 - 243 lbs., 4.78 40 - UCLA (UFA)
CB Fabian Moreau, No. 10, 5'11 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - UCLA (4th) Out for the year with a Lisfranc injury.
QB Jerrard Randall, No. 8, 6'1 - 185 lbs., 4.64 40 - Arizona (UFA)
RB Jared Baker, No. 23, 5'8 - 192 lbs., 4.49 40 - Arizona (UFA)
WR *Cayleb Jones, No. 1, 6'3 - 215 lbs., 4.62 40 - Arizona (5th) Transfer from Texas.
OT Lene Maiava, No. 77, 6'5 - 301 lbs., 5.16 40 - Arizona (7th-UFA)
ILB *Scooby Wright III, No. 33, 6'0 - 246 lbs., 4.86 40 - Arizona (2nd)
DE Reggie Gilbert, No. 8, 6'3 - 262 lbs., 4.97 40 - Arizona (7th-UFA)
SS William Parks, No. 11, 6'0 - 195 lbs., 4.62 40 - Arizona (6th)
USC vs. Arizona State
Another Arizona match-up featuring USC vs. Arizona State (let us hope the 49ers' scouts had a more productive outing in Arizona this past weekend than the 49ers had against the Arizona Cardinals). USC has several draft-eligible players to keep an eye on. On the offensive side of the ball we start with my projected top center prospect in C Max Tuerk, No. 75. Versatility is the name of the game for Tuerk. During his 36 career starts, Tuerk has had 14 starts at left guard, 16 starts at center, 5 at left tackle, and 1 at right tackle. Relishing his status as the jack of all trades in the offensive linemen community, Tuerk showcases a very unique skill-set not usually seen in the center position. For one, he is very tall at 6'6" with a slender build, which makes him look like an agile tackle in a zone-blocking scheme. Along with his height, length, and agility, Tuerk also displays explosiveness, mobility, impressive footwork, speed, good technique, tremendous awareness, and balance. He is quick in reaching the second level and although he does not possess a lot of power, his sound technique and footwork does the job in opening spaces. Moreover, when he pulls, he showcases his impressive speed and awareness in quickly finding targets and eliminating them. He shows an excellent base when anchoring and solid technique utilizing his very long arms in pass protection. He has a high football IQ to go along with his impressive leadership qualities.
Two other offensive players to keep an eye on are QB Cody Kessler, No. 6; and RB Tre Madden, No. 23. Cody Kessler, a bit undersized at 6'1" - 215 lbs., is an efficient accurate quarterback easily capable of reading the entire field and shows consistency in the pocket as well as patience. Kessler is starting the season off right with a 73% completion percentage (89/122) thus far, with 1297 yards thrown, 15 touchdowns, and 1 interception . Kessler is a very intelligent prospect with great vision, pocket awareness, and instincts, and has experience operating in a pro-style system.
RB Tre Madden is an explosive and athletically gifted running back with solid speed and agility; however, one trait could be problematic, durability issues. Along with the injury in 2012 (torn ligament), and sporadic injuries plaguing him in 2013, Madden also missed out on the entire 2014 season with a turf-toe injury. If he can stay healthy, Madden could end up being a middle round gem for an NFL team at the next level. Interesting nugget, Madden's grandfather is a scout for the St. Louis Rams and his uncle coaches for the New York Jets.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Trojan's junior OLB Su'a Cravens, No. 21, is a hybrid linebacker/safety with a physicality and versatility to his game making him a true playmaker with tremendous instincts. He is adept at rushing the passer, fierce in run support, and very talented in coverage. The fluidity, explosion, athleticism, and speed Cravens possesses makes him an ideal prospect many defensive coaches would love having roam around in their defense.
ILB Anthony Sarao, No. 56, might be 6'0" with cleats on, but the undersized inside linebacker prospect displays a great all around game with sound instincts, reliable as a tackle, and a never ending motor. CB Kevon Seymour, No. 13, displays a good combination of size, length, speed, quickness, and athleticism. He showcases good ball skills, nice fluidity, quality instincts, and is aggressive in run support. Look for his game to develop throughout the season and likely raise his draft stock, provided he can stay healthy.
Other USC players of note are: FB Soma Vainuku, No. 31 and DT Antwaun Woods, No. 99.
Arizona State is highlighting a few draft-eligible players of note, starting with two guard prospects in OG Christian Westerman, No. 55, an extremely strong and powerful offensive lineman with impressive foot quickness and solid hand technique; and OG Vi Teofilo, No. 73, an aggressive right guard with sound leverage and hand technique.
Another Arizona State player to keep an eye on is ILB Antonio Longino, No. 32, a physical and tenacious explosive athlete displaying good awareness and improved hand technique. Longino also brings value on special teams.
Other Arizona State players of note are: QB Mike Bercovici, No. 2; WR D.J. Foster, No. 8; CB Lloyd Carrington, No. 8; CB Kweishi Brown, No. 10; and SS Jordan Simone, No. 38.
QB Cody Kessler, No. 6, 6'1 - 215 lbs., 4.88 40 - USC (2nd-3rd)
RB Tre Madden, No. 23, 6'0 - 228 lbs., 4.53 40 - USC (4th)
Out for 2014 season from August 2014 Turf-toe.
FB Soma Vainuku, No. 31, 6'0 - 258 lbs., 4.83 40 - USC (7th-UFA)
C Max Tuerk, No. 75, 6'6 - 285 lbs., 5.12 40 - USC (2nd)
DT Antwaun Woods, No. 99, 6'1 - 320 lbs., 5.18 40 - USC (7th)
DT Claude Pelon, No. 90, 6'4 - 300 lbs., 5.07 40 - USC (UFA)
DE Delvon Simmons, No. 52, 6'5 - 295 lbs., 5.04 40 - USC (UFA) Transfer from Texas Tech.
DE Greg Townsend Jr., No. 93, 6'3 - 275 lbs., 4.86 40 - USC (UFA)
ILB Anthony Sarao, No. 56, 5'11 - 235 lbs., 4.73 40 - USC (5th-6th)
OLB *Su'a Cravens, No. 21, 6'1 - 225 lbs., 4.58 40 - USC (1st-2nd)
CB Kevon Seymour, No. 13, 6'0 - 187 lbs., 4.44 40 - USC (3rd)
QB Mike Bercovici, No. 2, 6'0 - 205 lbs., 4.86 40 - Arizona State (7th-UFA)
WR D.J. Foster, No. 8, 5'10 - 195 lbs., 4.52 40 - Arizona State (3rd-4th)
WR Devin Lucien, No. 15, 6'1 - 200 lbs., 4.52 40 - Arizona State (UFA) Transfer from UCLA.
OT William McGehee, No. 75, 6'5 - 312 lbs., 5.27 40 - Arizona State (UFA)
OG Christian Westerman, No. 55, 6'3 - 302 lbs., 5.14 40 - Arizona State (4th) Transfer from Auburn.
OG Vi Teofilo, No. 73, 6'3 - 304 lbs., 5.17 40 - Arizona State (5th-6th)
C Nick Kelly, No. 50, 6'2 - 294 lbs., 5.22 40 - Arizona State (UFA)
DT Mo Latu, No. 98, 6'2 - 387 lbs., 5.67 40 - Arizona State (UFA)
ILB Antonio Longino, No. 32, 6'2 - 230 lbs., 4.73 40 - Arizona State (5th-6th)
CB Lloyd Carrington, No. 8, 5'11 - 194 lbs., 4.53 40 - Arizona State (5th-6th) Transfer from Pitt.
SS Jordan Simone, No. 38, 5'11 - 195 lbs., 4.58 40 - Arizona State (6th-7th)
CB Kweishi Brown, No. 10, 5'11 - 206 lbs., 4.58 40 - Arizona State (7th)
49ers' scouts visited Toledo this past Wednesday, September, 23rd. Two notable players they were likely targeting are RB Kareem Hunt, No. 3 and WR Alonzo Russell, No. 9. Kareem Hunt, a junior, is an explosive prospect displaying a great combination of size (5'11" - 220 lbs.), speed (4.49 40), elusiveness, and strength (squats 500 lbs.). Hunt is a playmaker that plays with great power and speed and is a threat every time he touches the ball. Alonzo Russell displays an impressive combination of size (6'4" - 205 lbs.), length, speed, and athleticism. A fluid athlete, Russell showcases dependability as a receiver with the willingness and effectiveness as a solid blocker in the run game.
RB *Kareem Hunt, No. 3, 5'11 - 220 lbs., 4.49 40 - Toledo (3rd-4th) Suspended first two games of the season for violating team rules.
WR Alonzo Russell, No. 9, 6'4 - 205 lbs., 4.54 40 - Toledo (6th)
OG Ruben Carter, No. 65, 6'4 - 306 lbs., 5.27 40 - Toledo (UFA) Grad transfer from Florida State.
DT Orion Jones, No. 97, 6'2 - 285 lbs., 5.16 40 - Toledo (UFA)
OLB Trent Voss, No. 43, 6'3 - 220 lbs., 4.79 40 - Toledo (UFA)
Week 3 Update
Utah vs. Fresno State
There will be a few games where we find out 49ers' scouts have attended earlier in the season, and the matchup between Utah vs. Fresno State back in Week 3, was one of those games where 49ers' scouts were credentialed to attend, five credentialed 49ers' scouts to be specific. Nevertheless, it is another Utah game scouts have attended (Trent Baalke and Reggie Cobb attended Utah's Week 2 match-up vs. Utah State). It would not be surprising for Baalke to draft another running back in the 2016 NFL Draft; furthermore, after drafting a high safety position three consecutive years, it should not be surprising if Baalke selects a running back early. Therefore, keep an eye on Utah RB Devontae Booker, No. 23. Booker is an explosive running back with great quickness and foot speed, a one-cut back showcasing good vision, power, and elusiveness, and would thrive in a zone blocking scheme. Moreover, he is a solid threat in the receiving game and is impressive in pass protection.
A Utah defensive player the 49ers could be eyeing is ILB Jared Norris, No. 41. Norris has great awareness and has a nose for the ball as a downhill linebacker. His high motor and reliability makes him a coveted player the 49ers could utilize as a solid backup to eventual starter who also brings value on special teams.
Another defensive player to keep an eye on his edge rusher DE Jason Fanaika, No. 51. Fanaika, shows versatility playing on the edge as a defensive end, but can also stand up in space and work the edge as an outside linebacker. At 6'2" - 270 pounds, Fanaika could likely slim down and be pegged as a 3-4 outside linebacker. With solid strength and power to set the edge, Fanaika also showcases nice speed, explosion, and agility as a pass rusher. The former walk-on brings an impressive competitive spirit and solid work ethic.
Other Utah players of note are: C Sioasi Aiono, No. 60.
Fresno State does not likely have any draft-eligible prospects, but there are several priority rookie free agents of note that are listed below.
QB Travis Wilson, No. 7, 6'7 - 233 lbs., 4.94 40 - Utah (7th-UFA)
QB Kendal Thompson, No. 1, 6'2 - 195 lbs., 4.65 40 - Utah (UFA) Transfer from Oklahoma.
RB Devontae Booker, No. 23, 5'11 - 212 lbs., 4.56 40 - Utah (2nd)
WR Kenneth Scott, No. 2, 6'2 - 208 lbs., 4.54 40 - Utah (UFA)
WR Tim Patrick, No. 9, 6'4 - 204 lbs., 4.58 40 - Utah (UFA)
WR James "Bubba" Poole, No. 34, 6'1 - 197 lbs., 4.57 40 - Utah (UFA)
C Sioasi Aiono, No. 60, 6'2 - 305 lbs., 5.28 40 - Utah (7th)
DE Jason Fanaika, No. 51, 6'2 - 270 lbs., 4.78 40 - Utah (4th) Transfer from Utah State.
OLB Jason Whittingham, No. 53, 6'2 - 245 lbs., 4.86 40 - Utah (7th)
ILB Jared Norris, No. 41, 6'1 - 234 lbs., 4.74 40 - Utah (4th-5th)
SS Tevin Carter, No. 9, 6'1 - 216 lbs., 4.48 40 - Utah (UFA)
P Tom Hackett, No. 33, 5'11 - 198 lbs., 5.12 40 - Utah (7th-UFA)
RB Marteze Waller, No. 33, 5'11 - 209 lbs., 4.59 40 - Fresno State (UFA)
OG Alex Fifita, No. 76, 6'4 - 303 lbs., 5.27 40 - Fresno State (UFA)
OLB Ejiro Elderaine, No. 31, 6'2 - 225 lbs., 4.73 40 - Fresno State (UFA)
ILB Kyrie Wilson, No. 17, 6'1 - 238 lbs., 4.82 40 - Fresno State (UFA)
CB Charles Washington, No. 28, 5'10 - 197 lbs., 4.57 40 - Fresno State (UFA)