Pro days are in full swing, and the San Francisco 49ers have sent out scouts to most of the notable schools. On Thursday, Penn State stole the show. I’m not sure what they’re feeding their athletes, but the numbers they put up were almost too good to be true.
Linebacker Micah Parsons is expected to go somewhere in the first round. He plays fast, and if you’ve watched him, you knew he was an athlete. A wise man once said, “don’t count it twice,” when referring to evaluating prospects. Essentially, Parsons shouldn’t get extra credit for a skill that he’s already being elevated for.
At 6’3” and 246 pounds, Parsons ran a 4.39 40-yard dash with a 6.94 3-cone and a 10-6 broad jump. Hello.
Edge rusher Jayson Oweh is a player who has been playing football for under five years. He’s raw and has a long way to go when it comes to turning into a complete football player. At 6’4”, 257 pounds, Oweh ran a 4.39 40, jumped 39.5” in the vertical, with an 11-2” broad jump. Oweh’s 6.84 3-cone drill is equally impressive.
Oweh will go in the first round after those numbers. He should have a giant “buyer beware” sign that comes with his draft status. Oweh didn’t have a sack this past season. His pad level is poor, and Oweh lacks a plan as a pass rusher. Too often, Oweh doesn’t look like he knows how to diagnose what the offense is doing. I’d let someone else bet on Oweh unlocking his ceiling.
North Texas’s Jaelon Darden is an intriguing slot option. He certainly qualifies as one of the more “fun” players in this draft class. If you were wondering how confident Darden is, he said, “making someone miss is like waking up in the morning and brushing my teeth.”
Darden measured in at 5’7” and weighed 174 pounds. Size could be a concern, but Darden’s agility will be difficult for any wideout to top:
Jaelon Darden is a WR prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 7.66 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 578 out of 2462 WR from 1987 to 2021.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 25, 2021
Splits projected, times unofficial.https://t.co/MkKaRcNkC0 #RAS pic.twitter.com/8TFMyj64NO
Darden is a playmaker who runs better routes than you’d imagine. Good luck tackling him 1-on-1, but he did have 15 drops in the past two seasons.
Central Michigan’s Dwayne Eskridge is a player I’ve likened to Emmanuel Sanders. He’d be a great fit for the 49ers on Day 2. Eskridge also had himself a day on Thursday:
Official results @WMU_Football pro-day. Dee Eskridge 40 time!— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 25, 2021
WR Dee Eskridge
Hand 8 5/8
Arm 30 4/8
Wing 73 2/8
40-yd 4.38/4.39 (NFL scout ⏱)
OL Jaylon Moore
Eskridge had a 10-yard split of 1.50, which tells you how quickly he can get to top speed.
Eskridge is dynamic with the ball in his hands and would be the best return man on the Niners since Ted Ginn. Eskridge showed nuance to get off press coverage and is one of the few players who will play as fast as he times. I love his fit with Kyle Shanahan.
With these hand times, we can add anywhere from .08-.12. You have to remember, these are self-reported times from teams or places that have been training these athletes all offseason.
One of my favorite players in the draft is wide receiver Elijah Moore from Ole Miss. Moore ran a 4.35 40-yard dash with a had a 36” vertical and a broad jump of 10’-1”. Moore’s 3-cone was 6.63 and he also had a 4.07 short shuttle. Moore came in at 5’9 1⁄2 and 178 pounds.
On the field, he’s arguably one of the more complete players on offense. Moore is a superb athlete that has zero issues at the line of scrimmage and has the long speed to win deep. Moore also wins contested-catch situations over the middle of the field.
Moore’s routes tell stories, which is one of the better compliments you can give a wideout. He’s another player who would fit what the 49ers need on offense and on special teams.