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Kittle’s corner: The 49ers TE offers a little insight on his fellow Hawkeyes headed to the combine

The 49ers rookies from Iowa were very successful in their rookie year, could there be more Hawkeyes to come?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-North Practice Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have three Iowa Hawkeyes on the roster, cornerback Greg Mabin, quarterback C.J. Beathard and tight end George Kittle. The rookies saw quite a bit of game time in their first year, partially as a result of the Hawkeye’s pro style system run by head coach Kirk Ferentz. There are five Hawkeyes headed to the combine this week and Kittle was kind enough to give us a little insight on his former teammates. The offensive prospects will be covered in this article.

G Sean Welsh 6’2, 300 lbs.

While Welsh in considered a little undersized for a guard, he is a guy who has played at every position on the line, and done it effectively. He and the rest of the offensive line were responsible for helping RB Akrum Wadley register two 1,000 yard seasons in a row.

Projected rounds 5-6

Kittle: Ever since he walked onto campus we’ve been close. He’s just an animal and yet also a utility player. There was a game when two of our offensive linemen went down and he was a guard. He ended up playing tackle and looked even better than he did at guard in that game. He’s even taken snaps at center in spring ball just in case. He’s a guy who can do it all.

I know people have been talking about his size but there's a game in 2016 vs. Minnesota where he took out the nose tackle, pancaked him, a linebacker tried to cross his face, pancaked him, and then he knocked out a corner. Three guys on the way to a 40 yard run. It was incredible.

He’s a guy who never complains. His nickname is Dad or Big Daddy Welsh.

C James Daniels 6’4, 295 lbs.

Daniels is also slightly undersized for a lineman at 295 pounds but has been steadily putting on weight throughout his college career. He is very athletic and one of the top projected centers in the draft who started all 14 games at Iowa as a true freshman. He thrives in zone blocking schemes and would be a quick contributor on any team, particularly the 49ers. The 49ers signed Daniel Kilgore through 2020 but Daniels could become the competition and ultimately supplant the veteran.

Projected round 2

Kittle: One of the first things I really noticed about James is his freshman year he started a game at center and just completely balled out for us. He’s a guy who was ready from day he stepped on campus. He wasn’t a developmental guy. He stepped in and was already better than people.

It’s funny he’s a lot different than his brother (RB LeShun Daniels Jr. who is currently on the Washington roster) He likes to make fun of people, he likes to have a good time in the locker room and on the field. What I like about him is that he’s so fast for how big he is. He’s a fast, quick dude and he’s really powerful. He moves guys and he’s smart. He's got it all going for him too. He’s one heck of a player and is going to make a team really happy. He never struggled at the size he’s at and I feel like he will be able to put on weight like he did in college. He does talk a lot of trash for fun.

RB Akrum Wadley 5’10, 191 lbs.

Wadley has posted two thousand yard seasons in a row in Ferentz’s prostyle offense. He also got into the end zone 10 times each in the last two seasons. Wadley is electric and elusive but viewed more as a rotational back as opposed to an every down option. He is a reliable pass catcher especially in the slot. He could improve in pass protection but would not be seen as a liability.

Projected rounds 3-4

Kittle: One of my favorite things about Akrum he’s a quiet dude who keeps to himself and all he ever says is ‘Hey man, catch me on the field and I’ll show you what I can do.’ He doesn’t brag, he doesn’t seek out attention, he just let’s his play prove how good he is. I feel like we all knew how good he was, all the players did, and he got a few opportunities and really took off with those. He’s slippery dude I’ve seen handle a football, that’s what I love about him. I think he weighs about 190 pounds and he’s a physical back that runs like he’s 220. He doesn’t slide or go out of bounds to avoid getting hit. He will take guys on and you don’t usually see that from guys under 200 pounds. He shows up every day and does his job.

I think Akrum is a guy that if you ask him to do something he’s going to do it. So if he needs to work on his pass protection he’s going to do it. He’s not going to jump out of the way. Like I said he’s 190 pounds but he will get it done. I’d put back there. I trust him.

Kittle spoke about the two defensive Hawkeys headed to the combine as well, Josey Jewell and Josh Jackson. That will be in part 2.