The 2019 Senior Bowl committee has finalized rosters, and began announcing participants on Tuesday, January 8th. The game is set for Saturday, January 26th, with the first practices taking place on Tuesday, January 22nd. The San Francisco 49ers coaching staff will coach the South team, providing a week to really drill down what makes these players tick.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy announced the Senior Bowl will announce each position group over the next two weeks leading up to the start of practice. We’ll keep track of the rosters, and drop in some thoughts on each position group and the 49ers potential interest in two weeks.
Will Grier, West Virginia
6’1, 223 lbs | 2018 stats: 3,864 yards, 37 TDs, 8 INTs
Gardner Minshew, Washington State
6’1, 220 lbs | 2018 stats: 4,776 yards, 38 TDs, 9 INTs
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
6’2, 215 lbs | 2018 stats: 2,794 yards, 18 TDs, 5 INTs
Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
6’4, 226 lbs | 2018 stats: 3,183 yards, 17 TDs, 15 INTs
49ers positional interest: It seems highly unlikely the 49ers add more than a UDFA at the quarterback position following Nick Mullens emergence as a potential backup. The Senior Bowl will give the 49ers a chance to evaluate players that are diamonds in the rough, and maybe even get a leg up with them when it comes time to try and sign undrafted players after the draft.
Analysis (Alex Eisen): None of them scream first round pick. However, this is the NFL Draft and no position’s draft stock sky rockets more than a quarterback’s does. Will Grier had a fine season for West Virginia and was knocking on the door of a New Year’s 6 Bowl. Grier has a smooth release and a big arm, capable of reaching his receivers at all three levels on the field. Has a great arm, with a blend of zip and touch on the football. His footwork in the pocket will need to be cleaned up and polished, however his ability to escape pressure is a positive trait of his.
Gardner Minshew put up some eye-popping numbers at Washington State. However, my biggest concern is his ability to move beyond his first read. Like with passers before him, the air-raid system is built with many designed runs and routes to aid the passer in moving the chains. His accuracy is a bit all over the place and can be erratic at times throughout the game. His timing and decision making can be delayed, which could lead to costly mistakes. Performs his best completing passes down the middle of the field. Minshew is at best, a day three to udfa signing who is very much a project at the next level.
Jarrett Stidham has the looks of a pro passer. Has a desirable frame. Has good accuracy, and has the ability to find his target at all three levels on the field. Has good, but not great ball velocity, especially when asked to throw outside the numbers. Can make careless and questionable choices in the pocket when under pressure. However, I do like his quick release and motion. My biggest concern though for Stidham is his ability to play in big games. He has never stood out to me as someone who is going to step their game up when the moment matters most.
Tyre Brady, Marshall
6’2, 206 lbs | 2018 stats: 71 rec, 1,002 yards, 9 TDs
Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion
6’2, 215 lbs | 2018 stats: 63 rec, 1,083 yards, 9 TDs
Jalen Hurd, Baylor
6’3, 217 lbs | 2018 stats: 69 rec, 946 yards, 4 TDs, 209 rushing yards (4.4 ypc), 3 TDs
Hunter Renfrow, Clemson
5’10, 185 lbs | 2018 stats: 49 rec, 544 yards, 1 TD
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
5’11, 210 lbs | 2018 stats: 62 rec, 882 yards, 11 TDs
David Sills V, West Virginia
6’3, 210 lbs | 2018 stats: 65 rec, 986 yards, 15 TDs
Jaylen Smith, Louisville
6’3, 220 lbs | 2018 stats: 36 rec, 550 yards, 1 TD
49ers positional interest: Dante Pettis emerged as a serious presence, and Kendrick Bourne was solid replacing Pierre Garçon. However, the depth is a question mark, and they don’t necessarily have that No. 1 type of receiver at this point. I doubt they spend a first round pick on the position, but would a second surprise anybody?
Analysis (Alex Eisen): There are some intriguing wide receivers on this list that the 49ers should take a closer look at. My favorite name on this list is Deebo Samuel out of South Carolina. Of all the players on this list, Samuel is the most pro-ready. In fact, I believe Samuel is one of the most pro-ready draft eligible receivers in this class. Samuel has reliable hands, along with great vision, and explosive capabilities to extend plays with yards after the reception. Barring any setbacks, Samuel will continue to see his arrow pointing up.
Another player that catches my attention on this list is David Sills V out of West Virginia. Sills has the size and red-zone presence that teams will desire at the next level. Sills has a generous wingspan and catch radius. Has great high-point ability. While he does not produce great yards after the reception, he is one of the best deep ball receivers in the nation. Has a desirable size and frame that can be a mismatch for defensive backs.
Hunter Renfrow went from walk-on to Clemson legend catching the game-winning catch with one second remaining against Alabama in the 2017 National Championship Game. Renfrow is a slot receiver who catches pretty much everything thrown his direction. Renfrow is one of the best low ball receivers in the nation. He is not at all a physical receiver, and there are limitations to his game. However, if utilized correctly, Renfrow can be extremely effective in the short and intermediate levels of the field. Tyre Brady had a fine season for Marshall, and was the focal point of that offensive attack. Brady is looking like a fine value pick that can be had in the back end of the draft.
Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State
5’10, 210 lbs | 2018 stats: 924 rushing yards (7.5 ypc), 9 TDs, 199 receiving yards, 3 TDs
Ryquell Armstead, Temple
5’11, 215 lbs | 2018 stats: 1,098 rushing yards (5.2 ypc), 13 TDs, 52 receiving yards
L.J. Scott, Michigan State
6’0, 225 lbs | 2018 stats: 264 rushing yards (3.3 ypc), 95 receiving yards (September ankle injury)
Trevon Wesco, West Virginia
6’3, 274 lbs (listed at WVU as tight end) | 26 receptions, 366 receiving yards
49ers positional interest: The 49ers saw Matt Breida emerge as a presence following Jerick McKinnon’s torn ACL. Raheem Mostert looked really good in some brief play before breaking his arm, and Jeff Wilson was a solid complement late in the season after Breida was slowed by ankle injuries. With McKinnon and Mostert returning, I can’t imagine the 49ers investing too high in the position. They will want some competition, but I would be surprised if it was more than a day three pick — and maybe even just a UDFA and a later veteran like we saw with Alfred Morris.
Analysis (Alex Eisen): Unfortunately for LJ Scott, an ankle injury cost him most of 2018, which of course is going to damper his draft stock. Scott has demonstrated good balance when taking on the initial contact. Is quite effective in the pass protection department and will often follow through with his assignments in this area. Durability is the biggest concern for Scott, and remaining healthy at the next level. Scott has a good, thick frame for the pro level.
Armstead is a one cut runner with explosive abilities, running the inside zone. Has good vision, and demonstrates patience when carrying the football. Has strong contact balance, and is relentless throughout the course of a game, looking to carry the pile in forward motion. His biggest knock is his ability to pass protect. This is an obvious concern at the next level.
Foster Moreau, LSU
6’5, 256 lbs | 2018 stats: 22 rec, 272 yards, 2 TDs
Josh Oliver, San Jose State
6’5, 250 lbs | 2018 stats: 56 rec, 709 yards, 4 TDs
Dax Raymond, Utah State
6’4, 250 lbs | 2018 stats: 27 rec, 345 yards, 2 TDs
49ers positional interest: George Kittle was the 49ers biggest breakthrough player in 2018. The 49ers are looking for another big playmaker, and if they can’t find a wide receiver, maybe they add a complement to Kittle?
Analysis (Alex Eisen): Foster Moreau has a limited route tree and performs his best at the first level on the field in short yardage situations. Shows the ability to be an anchor in pass protection, and will hold down his part on the line with oncoming defenders. Has strong hands, and will take care of the football. While he will catch most passes thrown his direction, his ability is minimal to create yards after the reception, with only moderate burst. What scouts will love most about him is his large frame and ability to pass protect.
Josh Oliver is another tight end with a large, muscular frame. Can be lined up in the slot as a pass catching option. Has the size and ability to be a red-zone threat. I love his body control and his reliable hands when making catches at the first and second levels on the field. Oliver is still a work in progress as a pass protector and at the moment is a strong receiver. What’s in his favor is his size and frame. Now he needs to polish and further develop his technique in pass protection to have success as a tight end at the pro level.
Dax Raymond has a great catch radius and soft hands as a receiver. Has a long reach to reel in passes that are not thrown on target. Like Oliver, Raymond is at his best as a receiving option, and will need to develop more to become a do-it-all tight end at the pro level. This includes his abilities as a pass protector. Plays with good balance and displays toughness after the initial reception.
OT Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia — 6’5, 321 lbs
OT Dennis Daley, South Carolina — 6’5, 324 lbs
OT Andre Dillard, Washington State — 6’5, 310 lbs
OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State — 6’5, 311 lbs
C Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State — 6’4, 310 lbs
OG B.J. Autry, Jacksonville State — 6’4, 340 lbs
OG Javon Patterson, Mississsippi — 6’2, 310 lbs
OG Ross Pierschbach, Alabama — 6’3 309 lbs
OG Ben Powers, Oklahoma — 6’3, 313 lbs
OG Dru Samia, Oklahoma — 6’4, 303 lbs
49ers positional interest: The 49ers are most likely to add a guard in the draft. Mike Person is a free agent, and has only been a stop-gap option. They could sign him to another deal, but I suspect it would be another one year contract. At some point they need to find a long-term option. They might look for some reserve tackle help, but guard is where it’s at for them right now.
Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
6’5, 262 lbs | 2018 stats: 65 tackles, 26.0 TFL, 17.5 sacks, 3 PD, 1 FR, 2 FF
Carl Granderson, Wyoming
6’5, 261 lbs | 2018 stats: 40 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PD
Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
6’4, 280 lbs | 2018 stats: 56 tackles, 6.5, TFL, 1.0 sack, 2 FF
Anthony Nelson, Iowa
6’7, 271 lbs | 2018 stats: 45 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 1 FR
Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
6’6, 245 lbs | 2018 stats: 53 tackles, 14.5, TFL, 12.0 sacks, 1 FF
Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
6’4, 255 lbs | 2018 stats: 58 tackles, 18.0 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PD, 4 FF
Otaro Alaka, Texas A&M
6’2, 240 lbs | 2018 stats: 79 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
Deshaun Davis, Auburn
5’11, 233 lbs | 2018 stats: 112 tackles, 15.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 PD
Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State
6’2, 235 lbs | 2018 stats: 101 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 PD, 1 FR, 1 FF
David Long, Jr., West Virginia
5’11, 221 lbs | 2018 stats: 108 tackles, 19.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks, 4 PD, 1 FR, 2 FF
Christian Miller, Alabama
6’3, 244 lbs | 2018 stats: 34 tackles, 11.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FR
Bobby Okereke, Stanford
6’2, 234 lbs | 2018 stats: 94 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 5 PD, 1 FR, 2 FF
D’Andre Walker, Georgia
6’2, 245 lbs | 2018 stats: 45 tackles, 11.0 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 3 PD, 1 FR, 4 FF
49ers positional interest: This group includes a mix of inside linebackers, traditional outside linebackers, and players more likely to play some edge rusher. The 49ers need edge rusher help, but they also need someone to serve as a complement to Fred Warner. It was supposed to be warner and Reuben Foster, but the team released Foster after he was arrested at the team hotel in Tampa. Malcolm Smith is not the long-term answer, and frankly does not appear to be the short term answer either, so they’ll be keeping an eye on linebackers.
CB Isaiah Johnson, South Carolina
6’3, 203 lbs | 2018 stats: 66 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INTs, 5 PD
CB Lonnie Johnson, Jr., Kentucky
6’2, 206 lbs | 2018 stats: 23 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PDs, 1 FF
CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
6’1, 190 lbs | 2018 stats: 47 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 2 INTs, 12 PDs
DB Mike Edwards, Kentucky
5’11, 200 lbs | 2018 stats: 82 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 2 INTs, 6 PDs, 1 FR, 1 FF
S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
5’11, 215 lbs | 2018 stats: 99 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 2 INTs, 5 PDs, 1 FR, 1 FF
S Jaquan Johnson, Miami (FL)
5’11, 195 lbs | 2018 stats: 92 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 INTs, 1 PD
S Sheldrick Redwine, Miami (FL)
6’1, 205 lbs | 2018 stats: 64 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 PDs, 1 FR, 1 FF
S Juan Thornhill, Virginia
6’0, 210 lbs | 2018 stats: 98 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 6 INTs, 7 PDs
S Darius West, Kentucky
5’11, 210 lbs | 2018 stats: 86 tackles, 1.0 TFL, 3 INTs, 6 PDs, 1 FR
S Khari Willis, Michigan State
5’11, 215 lbs | 2018 stats: 77 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, 7 PDs, 1 FF
49ers positional interest: It’s safe to say the 49ers will be giving cornerbacks and safeties a long look. Aside from Richard Sherman, it’s hard to say anybody on the roster has clearly locked down a spot. Regardless of who the 49ers end up hiring as their defensive backs coach, this will be a busy position group for the 49ers coaching staff.