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Kyle Shanahan is a month ahead of schedule on his draft prospect evaluations

An unexpected little twist in the 49ers pre-draft process.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Much is being made of the San Francisco 49ers getting to coach the South roster at the 2019 Senior Bowl. They get a chance to see how players take to coaching on the field and in the classroom, and they get a chance to know these players a little better than if they were just in the stands. There is no doubting the direct evaluation value.

But there is another part of the evaluation process where this will benefit the team. Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday that he is already a month ahead of schedule in his college evaluations.

“Honestly, you know, when the season ends, I am not right into it. I’m going on vacation for a little bit. We just get back into it. I usually study, start my college a couple weeks before we go to Indy [for the Combine]. Now I’m a month ahead of schedule.”

The 49ers personnel department keeps plenty busy throughout January, but it makes sense that the coaching staff would get some time off before diving back into things. The 49ers personnel evaluators work closely with the coaching staff in preparing for the draft, but normally the coaches are focused more on getting ready for the annual Combine.

The scouting staff have worked to cut down the players being evaluated, but even still, an extra opportunity to check out game film could offer a look at a player that might otherwise be overlooked, or might not get the kind of attention he should. I don’t know if this will be the difference between finding that diamond in the rough on day three or not, but it’s an interesting little twist we don’t always consider.