Once the draft is over, every team in the NFL will tell you how happy they are with their draft class, and how they couldn’t believe Player X was still on the board when he was picked. If you want specific deep dives as to why each player was picked, you’ve got to dig deeper with the front office, and that’s exactly what Matt Barrows did with Assistant General Manager Adam Peters in The Athletic.
I don’t want to post the entire thing because it’s behind a paywall, but I will share a couple of interesting nuggets on some of the prospects.
Drake Jackson, Edge
“One of the things [Kris Kocurek] looks for, according to Peters, is something he calls ‘flat-footed bend.’ That’s when an edge rusher is able to place his foot at a 90-degree angle from his body and then turn the corner on an offensive tackle.
Kocurek wants a prospect who can put his cleat fully on the ground so he can generate the necessary power for the maneuver. That, of course, requires uncommon ankle and hip flexibility, something the 49ers see in Jackson.”
Tyrion Davis-Price, Running Back
“Davis-Price played at 229 pounds last season, making him one of the biggest runners in the draft. Peters said he also had one of the top five GPS speeds among running backs in the draft, a rate he reached during LSU’s Nov. 6 game against Alabama.”
Danny Gray, Wide Receiver
“He also passed the eye test. That was the biggest thing. He jumps out on the tape as far as how fast he is and how fast he played. There were a lot of guys that run 4.3s — not a lot, but a handful — but they don’t play like that. And Danny plays like that.”
Spencer Burford, Offensive Lineman
“The 49ers thought he was discernably faster than that on the field, and they liked the way he moved for someone who’s 6-4, 304 pounds and with nearly 35-inch arms. The 49ers envision him as a guard who also will get a look at tackle.”
You can read the complete article here. It is very much worth your time and offers great insight into how the 49ers draft process really works.