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2017 East-West Shrine Game defensive draft prospects

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A list of the Top 10 defensive prospects in the 2017 East-West Shrine Game, which reflect upon San Francisco 49ers team needs.

Welcome back to our 2017 East-West Shrine Game coverage! Yesterday, we took a look at ten offensive prospects for 49ers fans to watch this week. Today, we are back with a look at ten defensive prospects to watch.

The 2017 East-West Shrine game is on Saturday, January 21st at 12:00 p.m. PT. It airs on NFL Network, and will feature mid-tier prospects for the upcoming NFL draft. Prospects taking part in the game are usually drafted on day three, or signed as undrafted free agents.

These are not the ten best players overall, but rather, ten players that could best fit the 49ers needs. My focus is on prospects who came out of a 3-4 defensive base in school. Of course with the 49ers changing coaches we don't know exactly what system the new defensive coordinator will be utilizing.

If there anyone else you are looking forward to seeing on Saturday, share in the comments below.

1) Xavier Woods, Strong Safety, Louisiana Tech

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at North Texas Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

5’11”, 215 pounds. The strong safety is ranked ninth nationally in interceptions with 5 in total. He was recently named to the All-Academic Conference-USA Team for the third consecutive year which is quite impressive. Woods might be the best safety featured in this game. He is also one of the hardest hitting DB’s in the upcoming draft. His stock will most likely rise, and I will be bold here and give him a day 2 draft grade.

Draft Round: 3rd

2) Jadar Johnson, Strong Safety, Clemson

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6’0”, 210 pounds. Played a vital role in the Clemson secondary towards their national championship run. He will be competing with Xavier Woods as the best defensive back in this game. He had 5 interceptions this season, as well as a forced fumble against Alabama in the national title game. He waited patiently behind Jayron Kearse and will soon join him in the NFL. I will value him right around where I have Woods.

Draft Round: 3rd

3) Leon McQuay, Safety, USC

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

6’1”, 195 pounds. So remember the guy who made the final interception in that instant classic Rose Bowl Game against Penn State? Yep, here he is, Leon McQuay. The former 5-star recruit has shown improvement and promise during his career at USC. In his career he had 73 tackles, 11 deflections, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions. I would value him an early day three pick.

Draft Round: 4-5

4) Deangelo Brown, DT, Louisville

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

6’1” at 317 pounds, Brown recorded 37 tackles this past season, including 12 tackles for a loss, along with 3 sacks. What I have heard about Brown is his tremendous leadership traits on and off the field. His speciality seems to be at nose tackle. While the 49ers have many high draft picks along the line, they could use a nose tackle. There are more pressing needs, but perhaps they may see Brown as a day three selection which seems like fair value for him at this point in the process. I actually really like Brown at this value, and he could be a steal in the fifth round for the 49ers.

Draft Round: 5th

5) Calvin Munson, LB, San Diego State

NCAA Football: Hawaii at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

6’1, 245 pounds, Munson can hit! He has over 19 sacks in his career, and can be utilized both inside and on the outside as well. I’m not entirely impressed with his coverage skills, but do like his ability against the run. His value is looking like a mid-day three selection at this point.

Draft Round: 5-6

6) Treston DeCoud, CB, Oregon State

NCAA Football: Oregon at Oregon State Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

6’3” 208 pounds, DeCoud started all 12 games for the Beavers this past season. He is lengthy, and can be a ball hawk which earned him Pac-12 defensive player of the week honors when he intercepted 2 passes, returning one for a touchdown. A late round prospect who carries a chip on his shoulder, and someone who can provide depth to a position that always seems to catch the injury bug.

Draft Round: 5-6

7) BJ Singleton, DT, Houston

AAC Championship - Temple v Houston Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

6’3” 315 pounds is a true 3-4 defensive tackle. Watching his film, a speciality of his is creating the holes and gaps for his linebackers to come in and make the tackles. He plays his best against the run. This is a pretty deep class on the defensive line, and I see Singleton as a third day selection. Again, another prospect who’s arrow is pointing up.

Draft Round: 6-7

8) Ashton Lampkin, CB, Oklahoma State

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Colorado Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

6’1”, 195 pounds. A versatile and quick cornerback who can keep up with the faster wideouts in the league. Where he has trouble is with taller wide receivers in one-to-one coverage. However he seems to see the field pretty well, and while he is not known for his interceptions (Only 1 this past season), his ability to tackle in the open field gives him value.

Draft Round: 6-7

9) Jimmie Gilbert, OLB, Colorado

NCAA Football: Washington State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

6’4” 230 pound outside linebacker for the Buffalo’s was a first-tea m All-Pac 12, and was third in the conference in sacks. He was responsible for 6 forced fumbles and 9 sacks, as well as leading his team this season in tackles for loss. Gilbert, from game to game, seems to make his presence known in the opposing team’s backfield. While the 49ers will most likely invest high in a pass rusher, I see nothing wrong with adding depth towards the back end of the draft. While he may be undersized, his speed and jump off the line make up for it.

Draft Round: 6-7

10) Austin Calitro, ILB, Villanova

Sometimes you find a gem in the FCS division of football. I really enjoyed watching film on this prospect. Quick off the snap, superb against the run, and his coverage skills are good, and will get better with more development. He had 83 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do against FBS competition.

Draft Round: 7-UDFA