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49ers begin meeting draft prospects at 2018 Shrine Game

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We have a list of the first 8 Shrine Game draft prospects connected to the 49ers.

The 2018 Shrine Game and NFLPA Collegiate Bowls take place this week, kicking off the pre-draft evaluation process. NFL teams have been scouting prospects for months now, but this week marks the start of the formal lead up to the 2018 NFL Draft.

The San Francisco 49ers, and likely all 31 other NFL teams are on hand for the Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some will have a bigger representation than others, but they all likely have at least some scouts on hand for the week of practice leading up to the game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer Trevor Sikkema is on hand for practice this week, and is providing a running tally of which teams are meeting with which prospects. Through one day of practice, the 49ers have reportedly met with Miami (FL) defensive end Chad Thomas and Oklahoma State offensive tackle Zack Crabtree.

Thomas is viewed as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. Shrine Game measurements took place earlier today, and he measured in at 6’5, 275 pounds. Crabtree measured in at 6’6, 318 pounds, and seems to be pushing for a tackle spot, as opposed to getting bumped inside.

Some other names that have shown up, according to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football. He is reporting the 49ers have met with Oklahoma State safety Tre Flowers, University of Montreal wide receiver Regis Cibasu, South Dakota State wide receiver Jake Wieneke, Delaware defensive tackle Bilal Nichols, Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas, and South Florida running back D’Ernest Johnson.

Between now and the 2018 NFL Draft, we will hear numerous reports about the 49ers (and other teams) meeting with prospects in a variety of settings. We will hear about meetings this week and next week at the All Star games. There will be numerous interactions in late February at the NFL Combine. March will bring along college Pro Days, and then late March and most of April will feature private workouts.

Not all interactions hold the same value. A lot of the reports we’ll hear from the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl involve a team getting basic information and clarification on something from a player. There could be serious interest, but these meetings can be taken with a certain grain of salt.

At the same time, they are worth noting. The 49ers will not draft most of the players they meet with the next three months, but it at least provides the slightest of hints about where interest might lie. And so, we’ll continue tracking the meetings.

Fooch’s update, January 17: Walter Football is reporting the 49ers have since met with Alberta offensive tackle Mark Korte, Illinois State cornerback Davontae Harris, Syracuse offensive tackle Jamar McGloster, and Florida State linebacker Jacob Pugh.