Continuing on with our Scouting 49ers Scouts - pro day edition, we move on to March 11th workouts, where a few notable prospects impressed yesterday in front of 49ers' scouts. With only Washington's pro day on the schedule yesterday, all focus is on the Huskies and several extremely talented prospects destined to be high quality picks in this years' NFL Draft.
On Saturday, March 11th, scouts for the 49ers attended Washington's pro day.
Per Bleacher Report's Ethan Young, the 49ers were in attendance at Washington's pro day. All of the top-shelf prospects for the Huskies stood on their NFL Scouting Combine numbers, but eagerly showed off their skills doing positional drills.
The big news of the day was CB Sidney Jones, arguably the top cornerback in this years' draft class, going down with an apparent serious left leg injury. While in the midst of doing his backpedal during a drill, Jones just dropped, and to top off the down factor of the news, the injury occurred on the last defensive back drill of the day.
The initial news does not look good for Jones (speculation of a ruptured Achilles), who was helped up to his feet by fellow outstanding defensive back Buddha Baker, and then assisted off the field by Washington's head coach Chris Petersen. Moments later, Jones was escorted away on an equipment cart with his leg elevated.
Washington CB Sidney Jones, consensus first-round NFL draft prospect, leaves pro day on a cart after suffering apparent left leg injury. pic.twitter.com/t0DPc70tAL— Stephen Cohen (@scohenPI) March 11, 2017
Sidney Jones is an amazing athlete on the field showcasing tremendous quickness, burst, speed, balance, aggression, fluidity, instincts, ball skills, and athleticism. He plays with good patience excelling in off-coverage with great awareness, aggression, and excellent ball skills with a nose for the ball (will close and snatch in a blink). Jones also shows good hand usage and physicalness in press with nice fluid hips, quick feet, and stays on the hip pocket when trailing (excellent awareness playing with his back to the quarterback). He is technically sound as a cover corner and solid in run support and is an eager tackler. Has durability concerns due to a thin frame and lack of bulk. Depending on the severity of his leg injury, his first round aspirations are sadly gone.
Likely prior to Jones' injury, per Rob Rang, Sidney Jones had a visit and/or private workout already scheduled with the 49ers. We will have to wait and see how everything unfolds once we know the results of Jones' injury.
No doubt Jones' injury ushered in a somber tone within the onlookers at hand, but other notable prospects were eager to display their talents. The other two highly touted defensive backs in CB Kevin King and FS Buddha Baker performed marvelously during their positional drills.
Kevin King continues to move up draft boards with his impressive skill set, checking off boxes at his pro day. King boasts a great combination of length/size, long arms (32"), speed, explosion, and athleticism, to go along with some terrific ball skills. The former high school track star and Bay Area native is a smooth athlete showcasing superb agility, flexibility, and change of direction skills (good hip fluidity). King displays nice physicality and aggressiveness as a press corner, as well as sound instincts in off coverage reacting with an explosive burst. He shows good balance and lateral and short area quickness to work the slot, but he lives and wins on the boundary with his length and toughness.
Per Rob Rang, the 49ers have expressed a great deal of interest in King. A typical Seattle Seahawks type corner, King is likely viewed as an ideal fit in the 49ers new defensive scheme.
Another Washington prospect checking off boxes at his pro day was Budda Baker. Baker is a sensational safety with an excellent combination of fluidity, speed, agility, instincts, and top-notch athleticism. The former high school outstanding track athlete bestows impressive explosion, quick feet, elite speed, solid change of direction skills, and a great ability to cover a lot of space all over the field. An aggressive defender that plays bigger than his size, Baker shows excellent quickness and closing speed aggressively challenging opponents in run support, and is an excellent tackler in space utilizing sound angles finishing plays. Displays tremendous instincts and the speed to challenge receivers with solid ball skills.
After breaking the record for the fastest 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine, WR John "4.22 40" Ross impressed scouts with his route running at the pro day, with word he was outrunning passes thrown to him. Ross, the flag bearer of the Huskies "The Legion of Zoom", boasts elite speed, tremendous quickness, explosion, agility, and athleticism with smooth route running and quality hands. He has an explosive burst off the line and is extremely quick getting in and out of his breaks with elite suddenness erupting out of his cuts creating separation from defenders accelerating to top speed in a hiccup.
Ross displays elite short area quickness and has video game-like change of direction skills, does not gear down when making cuts with eye popping stop and start skills, and is extremely elusive in the open field speeding by defenders with game-breaking speed. The former high school track star is an explosive and dynamic receiver stretching the field taking the top off coverages and looks to score on every play. And when you realize you are the fastest man in the NFL (soon will be), I guess you can have some fun.
Ross is scheduled to have shoulder surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum.
Reports from Washington's pro day indicated Elijah Qualls impressed scouts. His quickness and power were on full display. Qualls is a very strong defender with a vending machine body displaying great power, strength, awareness, foot quickness, and lateral agility. A plugger as a run stuffer, Qualls showcases power at the point of attack capable of handling two-gaps, great in collapsing the pocket with strength and leverage (though inconsistent), has sound awareness to stop ball carriers next to him stacking and shedding quickly and running down ball carriers easily navigating through trash (nice balance) with impressive closing speed. Shows versatility to play all over the defensive line with the power at the point of attack and the lateral agility, burst, and quickness to penetrate through gaps.
Below are some draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on from the pro days 49ers scouts attended:
WR John Ross, No. 1, 5106 - 188 lbs., 4.22 40
TE Darrell Daniels, No. 15, 6032 - 247 lbs., 4.55 40
OG Jake Eldrenkamp, No. 52, 6'5" - 285 lbs., 5.08 40
DE/OLB Joe Mathis, No. 5, 6'2" - 266 lbs., 4.86 40
DT Elijah Qualls, No. 11, 6005 - 313 lbs., 5.13 40
OLB Psalm Wooching, No. 28, 6'4" - 230 lbs., 4.76 40
CB Sidney Jones, No. 26, 6'0" - 186 lbs., 4.47 40
CB Kevin King, No. 20, 6'3" - 190 lbs., 4.43 40
FS Budda Baker, No. 32, 5095 - 195 lbs., 4.45 40
K Cameron Van Winkle, No. 48, 5'10" - 190 lbs., 4.84 40
On the slate for Monday, March 13th: Albany State, Brown Charleston Southern, Furman, Kansas, Laval (Quebec), Minnesota, North Alabama, Princeton, Tennessee Tech, Valdosta State, Wake Forest, and Wofford.