Greetings 49ers Faithful! Week 11 of the college football season is upon us, and after a satisfying win against the cross-town rivals we are back to focusing our eyes towards the future of the team with our continued breakdown of college football’s weekly action - keeping our sights set on the 2019 NFL Draft. Each week throughout the college season Josh Eccles, Alex Eisen, and Greg Valerio have been breaking down a few college football games providing highlights and profiles of a few notable draft-eligible prospects you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason.
For this week, Josh, Alex, and Greg each picked two players to talk about. All prospects highlighted are featured today; nonetheless, feel free to drop in the prospects you are watching.
Trayvon Mullen, CB, No. 1 - Clemson Height: 6’1” | Weight: 194 #9 Boston College vs. TCU | 9:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, November 10 | FS1
Trayvon Mullen has the luxury of playing behind a defensive line which boasts 4 future NFL starters so you can imagine how much that helps his game. What also helps is even without the likes of Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Dexter Lawrence, and Christian Wilkins, he still possesses the skills you’d want in a cornerback: great hands, great speed, and great ball instincts. He utilizes his physicality and aggressiveness to jam wide outs at the line of scrimmage and is sure to help out in the run. However, he will need to continue to get bigger and sharpen his overall technique if he wants to become the high-caliber player he is capable of developing into.
Richard Sherman has things locked down on one side of the field for the Niners and Mullen could be the lockdown defender needed to really put a hold on opposing wide receivers for years to come. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan would do themselves big favors by seriously considering Mullen at the end of the 1st or the beginning of the 2nd round.
Ben Banogu, DE, No. 15 - TCU Height: 6’3” | Weight: 245 TCU vs. #9 West Virginia | 9:00 a.m. (ET) Saturday, November 10 | FS1
Here you can find a prospect with enough quickness and athleticism to make a name for himself in any rotation on any NFL defensive line. Ben Banogu - a senior at TCU - has a long, athletic frame that comes in handy when locking out opposing offensive linemen. The 2018 season has seen him collect 36 total tackles (10 TFL) and 6.5 sacks; in 2017 he had 8.5 sacks and the year before he had 3. As time has gone on he has improved his game but there’s still room to grow. The biggest knocks on Banogu are that he lacks serious power to overtake opposing players and is lackluster against the run.
These are all things that can approved upon in the pros, though, so it shouldn't scare any team away from taking a flyer on the edge rusher in the latter part of the 2nd round or the 3rd. San Francisco, as things stand now, would own the 3rd overall pick in the draft - a pick that would most likely be spent on a player who can put some pressure on the quarterback. If not, though, then Banogu offers some pretty good value later on.
Justice Hill, RB, No. 5 - Oklahoma State
Height: 5’10” | Weight: 190
Oklahoma State at #6 Oklahoma | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, November 10 | ABC/WatchESPN
The shifty and explosive running back out of Oklahoma State has slowly been climbing up draft boards. The Junior out of Stillwater has so far rushed for 895 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and 8 touchdowns, along with 13 receptions for 68 yards. Last season Hill rushed for 1,467 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns. Hill is a dual-threat back who can run and catch the football out of the backfield. Hill can be particularly dangerous in the open field, and has the capabilities of gaining yards after the initial contact. Watching his tape, Hill has demonstrated patience, navigating and finding holes along the line of scrimmage. Hill has demonstrated the ability to follow his blockers and seek out the open lanes.
Hill has proven to be effective in both long and short yardage situations, as well as inside the red-zone. Hill has good speed for the position, particularly his downhill speed. He has pristine vision, while he shifts and cuts on a dime, eluding oncoming defenders. I would like to see Hill add some more muscle to his frame, as it would be most beneficial to him as he transitions to the pro level. Hill should continue to climb up draft boards and the running back rankings. He has a big showdown this weekend against rival Oklahoma in Norman. Last season Hill ran for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Sooners. Hill is currently a 2nd round prospect.
Blace Brown, CB, No. 18 - Troy
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 184 |
Georgia Southern at Troy | 10:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, November 10 | ESPN+
While he won’t get the national media attention of some of the power 5 school’s corners, Blace Brown out of Troy is quietly putting together a positive and productive season. So far this season Brown has 29 tackles with 4 passes deflected. He has 11 career interceptions and is considered by many scouts and evaluators as a ball hawking, physical corner. Brown’s uncle is NFL great Herschel Walker. Brown does an efficient job of isolating the receiver, and taking him off of his route. Brown has good speed for his position, running fluidly through his hips. Brown has the ability to play in both man-to-man and zone coverage. Many times, on tape, Brown has demonstrated his ability to make an impact against the run.
Brown has great height for the position. Has long, and lanky arms with the ability to jump up and compete for fifty-fifty jump balls. Brown will keep up with receivers at all three levels on the field. Brown would benefit from adding weight and muscle to his thin frame. This has caused some concern about Brown pressing along the line of scrimmage. His thin frame can cause concern against the more physical receivers in the league. However, where Brown makes up for this is his attitude, and toughness. Brown will play a physical brand of football. He has made strides and improved his overall game each season. Strong football instincts and anticipation have only developed Brown into a stronger and well-rounded football player this season. At the moment, Brown is looking like a day two, 3rd round selection.
Marquise Brown, WR, No. 5 - Oklahoma
Height: 5’10” | Weight: 168 | 40 time: 4.33
Oklahoma State at #6 Oklahoma | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, November 10 | ABC/WatchESPN
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is an exceptionally explosive fluid athletic talent with superior foot speed, excellent agility, and elite speed. The wiry framed JUCO transfer has lit up Oklahoma’s receiving game displaying his innate ability to be a playmaker and home run threat at any level of the field. Hollywood displays eye-popping burst and acceleration off the line, tremendous ability to break in and out of his cuts separating from defenders with outstanding suddenness, smoothly running precise and crisp routes, and breakaway speed.
Hollywood showcases superb burst and elite speed (eats up ground like a road runner) to take the top off coverages. He has the ability to take short passes and explode after the catch making big gains taking advantage of his elusiveness, balance, athleticism, impressive physicality, and elite speed. A threat in all three levels of the field, Hollywood attacks the ball extending to make the catch with very strong reliable hands, terrific ball skills, and plays with toughness despite his small frame. Blocking is a work in progress and will need to gain functional strength at the next level; nevertheless, in a 49ers’ offense relying on speed, Hollywood delivers the blockbuster.
Hakeem Butler, WR, No. 18 - Iowa State
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 219 | 40 time: 4.59
Baylor vs. No. 22 Iowa State | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, November 10 | FS1
Hakeem Butler is a big-play humongous target with a superb combination of size, length, strength, and athleticism. The redshirt junior and former high school basketball star has been showcasing his talent as of late with great length (condor-like wingspan), ball skills, body control (has exceptional adjustment on back shoulder throws), and decent suddenness to his game quickly getting in and out of his breaks with explosion. Moreover, he fights for the ball utilizing his massive length and strength out-muscling defenders (wins in a crowd) plucking balls away from his frame displaying his large and impressive catch radius.
Butler’s strength, size, toughness, ball skills, leaping ability, and strong hands makes him an ideal prospect at all levels of the field for the 49ers. There will be concerns on Butler’s lack of separating from defenders (needs to refine his route running and lacks elite speed), but getting open in tight spaces helps him win. Butler adds the playmaking, physicality, and above the rim skills the 49ers could definitely utilize - specifically as an ideal red-zone target.