The San Francisco 49ers acquired a new offensive lineman on Saturday, trading with the Baltimore Ravens for Nick Easton. We do not know what the 49ers gave up, but odds are pretty good it is a conditional late pick. Easton joined the Ravens this year as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard, so if they can get even a seventh round pick for him, that's a victory.
Our friends at Pro Football Focus have been grading the preseason, and they graded Easton out very well. He ranked No. 1 among centers in overall grade by a longshot. His +9.1 grade (second center was 2.9) was bolstered by a +7.7 run blocking grade. He graded out at +1.3 in pass blocking, which was third among centers. He ranked third in PFF's pass blocking efficiency stat, which measures pressure allowed on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks allowed.
I was able to speak with our Ravens blogger to get an idea of what Easton brings to the table, and he had this to say:
A good center that was just in a crowded offensive line. Raw still since he is young, but a Harvard kid, so you know he has the smarts to pull it off. He was the third center for the Ravens and could bounce around the line a little bit if needed.
Here are three scouting reports, and a feature article from the Harvard Athletics website.