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49ers to host center James Daniels for pre-draft visit

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The 49ers inked their center of the future this offseason, but they need more interior line help.

The 2018 NFL Draft is one month away, and the San Francisco 49ers are going to be busy with pre-draft visits and workouts. The latest news comes courtesy of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The 49ers are hosting center James Daniels for an April pre-draft visit, according to Hawkeye Nation reporter Rob Howe.

The 49ers signed Weston Richburg to a contract this offseason to be their center of the future. Daniels is competing with Billy Price to be the first center off the board, but the 49ers could potentially see him as a guy they initially want to move to guard. Daniels played center at Iowa in 2016 and 2017, but played left guard for a year as a true freshman in 2015.

Daniels is a bit undersized for an NFL offensive lineman, standing 6’3, 295 pounds, but he sounds like a guy who could excel in the 49ers offensive scheme that looks for more athleticism from the linemen.

NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein projects Daniels as a first or second round pick. Here’s what he had to say in summing him up for his scouting report:

Sources tell us: “The Iowa guys are always going to be quick and proficient, but you have to see them tested against power because they are usually going to be a little smaller, too. This guy has decent size and I think he’s got pretty good functional power. He would come in and challenge for best center in our division right away.” -- NFC team college scouting director

NFL Comparison: Chris Chester

Bottom Line: Daniels is a fluid mover with tremendous initial quickness to win positioning on most every zone block he’s asked to make -- both on the first and second levels. His height, weight and arm length numbers at the Combine will be critical in either solidifying his draft slot or potentially dropping him a round. Some teams might see him as a zone-only center, but he may be strong enough to fit in with other blocking schemes. He needs to get stronger, but he’s a plus run blocker and pass protector with a chance to become a Pro Bowl starter.

Here’s a look at his measurables spider graph via MockDraftable.

James Daniels measureables via mockdraftable