The San Francisco 49ers are finalizing their big board for this week’s 2018 NFL Draft, and while the first round is where the high profile action is, the team will do plenty of work on the back end. And it appears they have their eye on a late round defensive end prospect. The team is interested in Colgate defensive end Patrick Afriyie, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.
Colgate DE Patrick Afriyie is drawing late round interest from 49ers, Packers, Giants, Broncos— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 23, 2018
Afriyie stands 6’1, 230 pounds, so we’re talking about an undersized guy at the NFL level. He was Patriot League defensive player of the year this past season, but will have plenty of work in front of him. Draft analyst Tony Pauline describes him as having good bend and solid explosiveness, with strong pad level. However, his speed is not particularly impressive, and given his lack of size, that’s even more concerning.
Players like Afriyie can benefit tremendously from getting into an NFL strength and nutrition program. It will give him a chance to put on some weight and see how he translates with a changing body type. I’m not saying I expect him to bulk up to 260 or 270, but I’d think we’d see the 49ers (or any other team) try and bump him up a little bit.