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NFL Scouting Combine Day 1 - WR, TE, QB: A look at some prospects the 49ers should keep an eye on

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Today the wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks take the field for drills on day one of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine! We breakdown each position, the drills, and featured players who fit 49ers team needs.

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Intro:

Greetings Faithful! Welcome to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine! Once again, the Combine will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The next crop of promising NFL talent will take the field these next four days, performing various drills. For many prospects, the Combine serves as a golden opportunity to further raise their draft stock and, in turn, earn more dollars once they turn pro. Besides the Senior Bowl, the Combine serves at the official start towards the path-to-the-draft. From here, all roads lead to Vegas!

Like the other 31 teams in the league, The San Francisco 49ers will enter the scouting combine with some questions to answer regarding their roster. From a draft standpoint, the 49ers don’t currently possess a lot of draft capital. The team currently holds the 31st pick in the first round. However, they will not select again until the 4th round. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks were sent off in trades for Dee Ford (2nd round pick) and Emmanuel Sanders (3rd and 4th round picks). Here are the 49ers current draft picks:

First Round: Own Pick (31st Overall)

Fifth Round: (Via Denver Broncos)

Fifth Round: Own Pick

Sixth Round: Own Pick

Seventh Round: Own Pick

Seventh Round: (Via Detroit Lions)

Heading into free agency, the three big names to watch out for are 2019 sack leader Arik Armstead. Safety Jimmie Ward and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Ideally, the 49ers would love to keep all three players; however, the dollars and figures may not be in their favor. As of this writing, the team’s current salary cap is about 13 million. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan will have to be very creative. The offseason will be intriguing, to say the least. The 49ers were that close to winning their sixth Lombardi trophy…They will do everything possible to finish the deal in 2020. That starts today at the NFL Scouting Combine. Let’s jump in and meet some prospects!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As a final note, featured prospects may not necessarily be the top prospects at their position, but instead we will try and focus on realistic targets and fits for the 49ers.

NFL Scouting Combine Day 1 Info:

NFL Combine - Day 6

Date: Thursday, February 27
Position Group: TE, QB, WR
TV: NFL Network
Time: 1:00-8:00 p.m. PT

Workout Drills:

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

40-yard dash

Vertical Jump

Broad Jump

Shuttle Run

Bench Press

10 yard split

3 cone drill

20 yard shuttle

60 yard shuttle

Wide Receivers:

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 eyes 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

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

3 Cone Drill

60 yard shuttle

Full List of Wide Receivers:

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

» Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

» Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State

» Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky

» Tony Brown, WR, Colorado

» Lawrence Cager, WR, Georgia

» Marquez Callaway, WR, Tennessee

» Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin

» Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

» Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Florida

» Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island

» Gabriel Davis, WR, Central Florida

» Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M

» Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas

» Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina

» Chris Finke, WR, Notre Dame

» Aaron Fuller, WR, Washington

» Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty

» Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis

» Stephen Guidry, WR, Mississippi State

» KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State

» Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

» John Hightower, WR, Boise State

» K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State

» Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State

» Trishton Jackson, WR, Syracuse

» Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

» Van Jefferson, WR, Florida

» Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee

» Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

» Collin Johnson, WR, Texas

» Juwan Johnson, WR, Oregon

» Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota

» CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

» Kalija Lipscomb, WR, Vanderbilt

» Austin Mack, WR, Ohio State

» Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

» Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane

» K.J. Osborn, WR, Miami

» Aaron Parker, WR, Rhode Island

» Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State

» Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan

» Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy

» Michael Pittman, WR, USC

» James Proche, WR, SMU

» Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

» Joe Reed, WR, Virginia

» Kendrick Rogers, WR, Texas A&M

» Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

» Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

» Darrell Stewart, WR, Michigan State

» Freddie Swain, WR, Florida

» Jeff Thomas, WR, Miami

» Ben Victor, WR, Ohio State

» Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Mississippi

» Cody White, WR, Michigan State

Wide Receivers to watch:

Michael Pittman Jr., WO43 – USC
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 223 lbs.
Arms: 32 ½”
Hands: 9 ¼”

One of my favorite under-the-radar players who I think is going to make a name for himself at the next level. Michael Pittman has the size, speed, and physicality to be a complete pass catcher in the NFL. He can make contested catches at all three levels on the field. Was a constant go-to target at USC this past season with reliable and capable hands. Pittman has a full, established route tree, and outstanding football instincts. Will contribute as a blocker in the run game, and has demonstrated his positive value on special teams. I think Pittman is a special football player and will be a steal in this draft.

Tee Higgins, WO21 – Clemson
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 216 lbs.
Arms: 34 1/8”
Hands: 9 1/4”

The number one option for the Clemson Tigers had an electrifying season. Higgins has a long frame that he uses to his advantage. Higgins is a mismatch outside the numbers against over-matched defensive backs. He has long, fluid strides, and picks up speed the deeper his route goes. Has outstanding football instincts and elite anticipation when tracking down the football. Will often find success receiving passes at the high-point. He is as reliable as a receiver as there is in space. His 40-yard dash will be something to watch. Should he time faster than what most anticipate Higgins could soar up the draft board. He could also slip in a very crowded and deep receiving class.

Justin Jefferson, WO26 – LSU
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 202
Arms: 33”
Hands: 9 1/8”

Justin Jefferson is a mismatch nightmare with his size, speed, and point catch abilities. His upside is outstanding, and his ability to stretch the field and constantly make plays at the second and third levels is quite valuable. Has strong and reliable hands, and can secure additional yards after the reception. Jefferson has been one of the best if not THE best big-play producer in the country this season. If Sanders is not re-signed, Jefferson would be a great fit in the Niners’ offensive plans. He would add a nice contrasting style compared to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Between the three of them, defenses would have a hard time trying to cover all three receiving threats at multiple levels on the field. Keep an eye on Jefferson because he might just end up at the very end of the first round.

Brandon Aiyuk, WO01 – Arizona State
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 205 lbs.
Arms: 33 ½”
Hands: 9 3/4”
Bench Press: 11 Reps

Aiyuk has a great combination of size, speed, and overall athleticism. Has the ability to break off of man coverage, and find space in the open field. Dukes and throws defensive backs off balance on his routes, and has great initial burst off the snap. Has a quick turn-and-run ability upon receiving the ball. Will fight for additional yards after the reception. He was considered the Yards After King in college football!

Van Jefferson, WO27 – Florida
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Arms: 32 ¾”
Hands: 9 1/8”

Van Jefferson was one of the focal points in the Gator’s offense this season. His stats don’t scream off of the paper, however much of his play was held back by poor quarterback play. What the tape reveals is a seasoned and polished route runner with the ability to track down the ball. Is not afraid to get physical with defensive backs for jump balls at the catch-point in man to man coverage. Jefferson is one of my under the radar players who can make an impact as he continues to expand his abilities at the pro level.

Collin Johnson, WO30 – Texas
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 222 lbs.
Arms: 31 3/4”
Hands: 9”
Bench Reps: 17

Talk about size, physicality, and the ability to outbox defenders in one to one matchups. Johnson sounds like another big target for the 49ers to utilize with George Kittle. His measurements and frame are what scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. Johnson has good speed for the position and can create separation at all three levels on the field (Short, Intermediate, and Deep Routes). On tape, Johnson has demonstrated his ability to create yards after the catch. He has strong hands and is a reliable pass catcher. Johnson is continuing to develop his route tree. A smooth runner, who brings a physical presence along the line of scrimmage, and can move the chains and advance the series. He has a favorable wingspan and creates large windows for his quarterback. He should prove to be a red-zone threat at the next level. Adding more speed and agility will benefit Johnson and his draft stock moving forward. There is certainly more room for growth and development.

Tight Ends:

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

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

Tight Ends:

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

» Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA

» Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon

» Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic

» Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington

» Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati

» Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue

» Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech

» Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

» Sean McKeon, TE, Michigan

» Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU

» C.J. O’Grady, TE, Arkansas

» Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri

» Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford

» Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt

» Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU

» Charlie Taumoepeau, TE, Portland State

» Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

» Mitchell Wilcox, TE, South Florida

» Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia

» Dom Wood-Anderson, TE, Tennessee

Tight Ends to Watch:

Harrison Bryant, TE03 – Florida Atlantic
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 243 lbs.
Arms: 30 5/8”
Hands: 9 1/2”
Bench Press: 13 reps

The tight end in this draft class that resembles and reminds the most of George Kittle is Harrison Bryant. I’m sure 49ers’ fans wouldn’t mind having two George Kittles on the team, right? Bryant has a long way to go. However, there is a lot to like about the tight end out of Florida Atlantic. Bryant runs fluidly through his hips at all three levels on the field. He has demonstrated his ability to catch the football at all three levels on the field, especially the second and third levels. Works well in space, and can create separation, while fighting for yards after the reception. Bryant is an efficient run and pass blocker, which is a major plus in the Shanahan offense. Bryant is my favorite tight end prospect and would be a wonderful fit in the 49ers offense.

Josiah Deguara, TE05 – Cincinnati
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 242 lbs.
Arms: 31 5/8”
Hands: 9”
Bench Press: 25 Reps

The senior out of Cincinnati had another productive season for the Bearcats. While he is a bit undersized for the next level, he made his major contributions as a receiver. He was particular efficient in the red-zone and made his presence known there. It will be interesting to see how teams scout and evaluate him. He may be able to transition to that H-Back position to find further success at the pro level. Deguara is a day three pick at the moment.

Jacob Breeland, TE02 – Oregon
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 252 lbs.
Arms: 32 5/8”
Hands: 9 7/8”

Jacob Breeland has good movement and catchability for the position. His controlled footwork allows him to break out inside the numbers and create separation. Breeland is a good sound blocker, however, there is room for improvement. He still needs to develop body control and footwork as a positional blocker. He makes up for this with his efficient movement in his routes and the ability to catch the football as a big-window target for the passer.

Quarterbacks:

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:

Passing:

  • How the ball is coming out of the QB’s hands.
  • The Quarterbacks footwork
  • 3-Step Drop, 5-Step Drop, 7-Step Drop,

Route Tree:

  • 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.

Quarterbacks:

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

» Kelly Bryant, QB, Missouri

» Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

» Kevin Davidson, QB, Princeton

» Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

» Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

» Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State

» Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

» Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

» Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State

» Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

» Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State

» Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii

» Steven Montez, QB, Colorado

» James Morgan, QB, Florida International

» Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan

» Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa

» Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Shea Patterson, QB15 – Michigan
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 212 lbs.
Arms: 30 ½”
Hands: 9 3/8”

Nate Stanley, QB16 – Iowa
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 235 lbs.
Arms: 32 5/8”
Hands: 10”

Kevin Davidson, QB03 – Princeton
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 224 lbs.
Arms: 30 7/8”
Hands: 8 ¼”

Who are YOU excited to see on day 1 of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine? Please share in the comments below!