Greetings faithful! We are back with coverage for day two of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. Taking the field for workouts this week will be the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. Currently, the San Francisco 49ers will not be in the market for a quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo will be back in 2019, and Nick Mullens has the looks of a capable backup. Also, in the fold is C.J. Beathard. Bearing any trades, and anything is possible in the NFL, the 49ers will most likely take a pass at the position.
However, it is the wide receivers and tight ends that will have the 49ers undivided attention Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis. George Kittle is an elite, all pro, and the thought of pairing Kittle with another tight end could be intriguing for head coach Kyle Shanahan. Then there’s that “little” issue of a number one wide receiver that the 49ers have lacked in what seems like forever. Will the 49ers finally strike gold and find one in this draft? Let’s find out and take a closer look at some of the elite prospects and sleepers who can have a big impact at the next level.
Who are you excited to see in action on Day 2? Please share in the comments below!
2019 NFL Combine
Location: Indianapolis, IN | Lucas Oil Stadium
Time: 7:00 AM PT
Channel: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com
Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends.
Niners Nation writer Josh Eccles gave a wonderful explanation of the workouts and drills in his article from yesterday. As a reminder, here is a short list of those workouts and drills:
10 yard split
3 cone drill
20 yard shuttle
60 yard shuttle
How the measurable drills translate for Quarterbacks:
*Minimal Targets for ALL positions courtesy of Draft Breakdown
Drill Target Explanation
40 yd dash 4.90 Speed over distance
10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness
225 Bench n/a Upper body strength
Vertical Jump 30″ Explosiveness
Broad Jump 9’0″ Explosiveness
20 yd shuttle 4.30 Flexibility/burst/balance
60 yd shuttle n/a Endurance
3 cone drill 7.25 Agility/COD
Drills to watch for Quarterbacks:
- How the ball is coming out of the QB’s hands.
- The Quarterbacks footwork
- 3-Step Drop, 5-Step Drop, 7-Step Drop,
- Short, Intermediate, Deep throwing abilities.
- Velocity, Accuracy, Touch.
- How fast is the Quarterback’s release? Release Point?
Special Note: I’m going to list a couple of sleeper picks at quarterback. Quarterback is nowhere near the top of the 49ers’ pressing needs. If anything, a trade involving Mullens or Beathard would possibly change the narrative, but it still seems unlikely.
Quarterback Prospects To Watch:
QB09 Trace McSorley – Penn State
Height: 6’0” Weight: 202 Age 23
Hands: 9 1/8” Arms: 31”
It’s hard to determine where McSorley will project to go in the draft. His collegiate career can be defined with peaks and valleys. However, what I like about McSorley is his quick release and the ability to throw the football with anticipation. On tape, McSorley demonstrates great energy consistently throughout the course of the game. Has dual-threat capabilities running the football. Will commit to the pocket on passing plays, even when pressure builds up from oncoming defenders. The concerns with McSorley begin with his size and frame. Struggles with connecting with his wide receivers in motion. The deep ball is still a work in progress and lacks consistency. McSorley is at best a late day three pick and a project who needs further developing at the pro level.
QB13 Kyle Shurmur – Vanderbilt
Height: 6’4” Weight: 230 Age: 22
Hands: 8 7/8” Arms: 32 ¾”
The son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, Kyle put together a respectable collegiate career at Vanderbilt within the vaunted SEC conference. Demonstrates good vision on the field. Has the size and frame that scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. Confident in the pocket with a high release point. Will read the field beyond his first progression. Stays focused down field and has demonstrated his ability to find receivers when scrambling outside the pocket. Is willing and committed to throw from the pocket, while trusting his protection. Doesn’t have the strongest arm talent and lacks the velocity that scouts desire in a passer. Ball security has also been an issue at times. Shurmur is a day three pick who will compete for a backup spot out of the gates.
How the measurable drills translate for wide receivers:
Drill Target Explanation
40 yd dash 4.55 Speed over distance
10 yd split 1.60 Initial quickness
225 Bench 12 Upper body strength
Vertical Jump 36″ Explosiveness
Broad Jump 10’0″ Explosiveness
20 yd shuttle 4.15 Flexibility/burst/balance
60 yd shuttle 11.4 Endurance
3 cone drill 7.00 Agility/COD
Drills To Watch for Wide Receivers:
The 40 yard dash is perhaps the most important drill for a receiver in the eye’s of scouts and evaluators. The vertical jump is an effective way to measure a prospect’s ability to spring up for those “Jump-Balls” (50/50 balls). A Broad Jump measures explosiveness and physicality evaluators seek in receivers.
40 Yard Dash
3 Cone Drill
60 yard shuttle
Wide Receivers to watch:
WO34 D.K. Metcalf – Ole Miss
Height: 6’3” - Weight: 228 - Age 21
Hands: 9 7/8” - Arms: 34 7/8”
As far as fitting the profile and look of a true number one wide receiver, nobody fits that bill more than D.K. Metcalf. The athletic and physical freak has a rare blend of height, weight, and speed. Metacalf has the ability to produce at all three levels on the field and has the capabilities of taking the top off of a defense. Has loose and fluid hips that help him build up speed on longer routes that can stretch the field vertically. Is a mismatch against defensive backs, with strong, reliable hands. Can twitch and cut on a dime and throw defenders off balance at all three levels. His biggest red flag is durability. He has suffered two separate season-ending injuries involving his foot in 2016 and neck this past season. If healthy, Metcalf can be a dangerous weapon that can upgrade a team’s offense on day one.
WO04 A.J. Brown – Ole Miss
Height: 6’0” - Weight: 226 - Age 21
Hands: 9 ¾” - Arms: 32 7/8”
A smooth route runner, with strong, reliable hands, Brown has a rare blend of speed and athleticism. On tape, Brown is dangerous in open space, and constantly earns yards after the reception. Brown plays with confidence, often winning battles in one-to-one matchups with defenders. Brown’s physicality and ball instincts make him one of the most reliable receivers entering this season. At this time, I see Brown as a day one prospect — and most likely landing in the top 20 of the first round. Metacalf might have the looks of a number one receiver, however to me, Brown is the most well-rounded receiver in this draft class and is a week one starter.
WO23 N’Keal Harry – Arizona State
Height: 6’2” - Weight: 228
Hands: 9 ½” - Arms: 33”
Harry uses his speed and size, playing an aggressive style of football. He is successful in high-pointing the football. Has the ability to run short, intermediate, and deep routes. Has a wide wingspan, with a big-window appeal for quarterbacks. Often bails out his quarterback, making acrobatic catches. Harry is a mismatch against most defensive backs, and can physically overpower them in contested plays for the ball. Harry is a nightmare for defensive backs to contend with in one-to-one matchups. Often times, Harry will use his frame to outbox defenders. Great instincts and anticipation, tracking down the ball, especially on the intermediate and deep routes. Should he be able to improve his speed and ability to create separation, he will be knocking on the door of the first round. Still, there is a lot to like about Harry who still has great value on day two of the draft.
WO28 Anthony Johnson – Buffalo
Height: 6’2” - Weight: 209
Hands: 9 3/8” - Arms: 31 3/8”
Anthony Johnson is a deep threat who has demonstrated his ability to take the top of a defense. His presence on the field forces safeties to be honest and in check. Don’t let the small school shy you away. Johnson had an explosive performance against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, a member of the BIG10. In that game Johnson had 11 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. He was and has been the focal point of Buffalo’s offense. Dare I might say, Johnson just might be the best deep threat in this upcoming receiving class. On tape, he has demonstrated the ability to catch the football over his shoulders and contest against defensive backs for jump balls in man to man coverage. Johnson has made growth and progress with intermediate and shorter routes. When catching those sorter passes, Johnson has demonstrated the ability to gain yards are the reception. Johnson has a great football story, first playing at two community colleges, before transferring to the University of Buffalo.
WO39 Hunter Renfrow – Clemson
Height: 5’10” - Weight: 184
Hands: 7 7/8” - Arms: 29 1/8”
Hunter Renfrow seems to have done it all in his four seasons for the Clemson Tigers. While names like Trevor Lawrence, Tee Higgins, and Travis Etienne receive the bulk of the national media attention on offense, Hunter Renfrow has slowly but surely put together a truly remarkable collegiate career. Renfrow is as reliable as they come at the receiver position, with strong, reliable hands, rarely dropping a pass thrown in his direction. On multiple occasions Renfrow moved the chains for the Tigers on third down conversions, particularly in third and short situations. While Renfrow is not explosive or a burner, Renfrow does have quick feet and initial burst to create separation from defenders in zone and man to man coverage schemes. Has great bend, and is one of the best low-ball receivers in the nation. Due to his lack of size, there is a limit to his catch radius and window the quarterback has available to him. However, on multiple occasions Renfrow has mad acrobatic receptions over the top. Renfrow can potentially be a late-round gem on the third day of the NFL Draft.
Drill Target Explanation
40 yd dash 4.85 Speed over distance
10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness
225 Bench 22 Upper body strength
Vertical Jump 32″ Explosiveness
Broad Jump 9’6″ Explosiveness
20 yd shuttle 4.20 Flexibility/burst/balance
60 yd shuttle 11.8 Endurance
3 cone drill 7.30 Agility/COD
Drills To Watch for Tight Ends:
The tight end’s speed is essential in today’s pass-first league, so like with receivers, the 40-yard dash will be one of the more important drills for tight ends. Again, like with receivers, measuring a tight ends vertical abilities and explosiveness will be quite telling in what can potentially translate to game day capabilities, and that’s why the vertical jump and broad jump are key drills for this position group.
40 Yard Dash
Tight Ends to watch:
TE07 T.J. Hockenson – Iowa
Height: 6’5” - Weight: 251
Hands: 9 ½” - Arms: 32 ¼”
Hockenson is a smooth route runner with a pro ready frame and catch radius. Can high point the ball, with good balance. Has soft and reliable hands. Has demonstrated his ability to catch footballs in wet conditions when Iowa played Penn State this season. Has a respectable second gear after catching the football and gaining yards after the reception. However, what truly makes Hockenson the TE1 in this draft class is his do-it-all ability on the field. His versatility as a pass catcher and a blocker make him a three down offensive weapon on the field. An in-line blocker in pass protection and the ability to vertically stretch the field will give offense coordinators plenty to work with at the next level.
TE 15 Irv Smith Jr. – Alabama
Height: 6’2” - Weight: 242
Hands: 9 ½” - Arms: 31 ½”
Smith might be the best run-blocking tight end this draft class has to offer. Has tremendous leverage and controls his blockers from start to finish. Works his angles extremely well, and does a great job of sealing off rush lanes. While I wouldn’t call Smith a burner, he does have above average speed which helps him create separation. Builds up speed and has demonstrated his ability to make catches at all three levels on the field. Is an accurate and precise route runner and can stretch the field vertically if asked to. His route running and blocking raise his value and could potentially help him sneak into the end of the first round.
TE04 Noah Fant – Iowa
Height: 6’4” - Weight: 249
Hands: 9 ¾” - Arms: 33 ½”
Like Hockenson, Noah Fant is also a smooth and versatile route runner at multiple levels on the field. Has reliable hands when catching the ball and has explosive burst when gaining yards after the reception. Fant just might be the fastest tight end in this draft class. Can be lined up at multiple spots along the line of scrimmage. For a tight end, and someone his size, Fant has a tremendous amount of flexibility. Moves quite freely on the field. Has strong football instincts and awareness on the field. As a blocker, Fant has had more success as a space blocker. His athleticism allows Fant to make instant adjustments. Overall, I feel Fant can be a real mismatch as a receiver at the next level. While he is a good blocker, he is not yet a finished product in this department. There is plenty to like about Fant and at the moment he is a borderline first round prospect.
TE16 Kaden Smith – Stanford
Height: 6’5” - Weight: 255
Hands: 9 5/8 - Arms: 32 ¼”
Kaden Smith offers a nice catch radius with a good frame that scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. His size is something special and has shown the ability to out-box defenders upon arrival. Has an assortment of roles that he’s played on the field for the Cardinal, and his versatility is a big plus. On multiple occasions this year Smith has been utilized successfully as a vertical receiving threat. His route running still needs some work and he is limited in this department. Running up the seem from the slot is where he performs best and where he finds more consistency. Works through his hips well as a blocker, however he lacks consistency as a blocker in general. Will sometimes get too narrow and is not able to finish his blocks against his opponents. However, what teams will like about Smith is his big target appeal than can be a vertical threat and stretch the field.