While we are on the Left Coast, let’s hop across The Bay and head down to Palo Alto to take a look at what GM JOHN LYNCH and the 49ERS were up to on Draft Weekend 2019. With their roster work in recent years, I think this team is on the rise. A healthy GAROPPOLO at QB could go a long way to reversing the team’s fortunes from 2018.
Round 1, Pick 2
NICK BOSA DE OHIO STATE 6’4/266 4.80/40 PP#3
Personally, I would have preferred the team peddle this Pick for extra Picks, if there had been any aggressive buyers, but that is a highly questionable proposition in retrospect. This organization has used a lot of high picks in recent years to acquire DL help in BUCKNER, ARMSTEAD, and THOMAS. However, BUCKNER is the only one who has played up to his high draft status to date. BOSA may not have all the numbers, (i.e. 40-time), that one might like to see, but he unquestionably has the BOSA family gene for being a natural pass-rusher. He should be a double-digit sack producer right away, as well as providing solid pocket pressure, in general.
Round 2, Pick 36
DEEBO SAMUEL WR/RS SOUTH CAROLINA 5’11/214 4.46/40 PP#49
QB JIMMY G may not recognize a significant portion of his receiving corps by Training Camp, but that may be a good thing if the explosive SAMUEL catches on to the intricacies of pro level receiving right away. He’s built like a RB with wideout speed and has great run after the catch ability. He also has a nose for the end zone. To my eyes, he was one of the stars during Senior Bowl Week. He goes over the middle and works the sidelines with good footwork. My PP#49 ranking was due, in part, to his propensity to be dinged up a bit too often in college. At the least, he should develop into a nice No. 2 receiving option for the NINERS, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Round 3, Pick 67
JALEN HURD WR BAYLOR 6’5/228 4.50/40 PP#194
To paraphrase the late/great DICK CLARK, HURD was rising up Draft Boards with a ‘bullet’ beside his name. You look at his size/speed numbers above and you can see why. I could not justify putting him into my Top 100 because of a gypsy collegiate path and injuries, which included preventing him from performing at the Senior Bowl and much of the Combine. He has shown natural catching ability even in his early days at RB for TENNESSEE. He had 69 catches last season for BAYLOR. He competes very well in traffic and runs well after the catch. A round too high for me, but they wanted a big target and got one. We should be cautious, and probably label him a “high risk/reward” player.
Round 4, Pick 201
MITCH WISHNOWSKY P UTAH 6’2/216 4.63/40 PP#220
I felt that he was draftable, and likely the first Punter off the Board, but not in Round 4. However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the team’s last Punter, PINION, was let go and is now with the BUCS. WISHNOWSKY is a big guy who is adept as a stationary punter, as well as a rugby-style punter. He gets solid hang time, and has a 2-step approach. Yes, he punted in the thin air of UTAH, but he boomed them in Mobile. If he’s an upgrade from PINION, then that’s another step up in roster quality. Also of note, his 4.63/40 time that he posted at the combine is the fastest 40-time for a Punter since 2003.
Round 5, Pick 148
DRE GREENLAW LB ARKANSAS 6’0/231 4.53/40 PP#234
This was another reach from my perspective, but I liked what I saw of GREENLAW in a couple of ARKANSAS games I watched, and especially down at the Senior Bowl venue. He flies all over the field, and can drop into coverage. He’s a bit short, but has a solid, muscular body. He will be an exceptional Special Teams player. They will also find multiple roles for him in Nickel and Dime defensive alignments. He has a knack for finding and getting to the ball. He did not run at Combine, but rest assured, he covers the field in live action.
Round 6, Pick 176
KADEN SMITH TE STANFORD 6’5/255 4.92/40 PP#117
This is the best Pick in a while here. They are a bit thin at TE, and he will compliment KITTLE/CELEK well. He’s a big kid who has most of his fundamentals in order, after playing for SHAW @ STANFORD, but he can get better at just about everything. In my head, I see him moving up to the No.2 TE in 2020, with CELEK being let go to save cap space, but he will see the field in 2019, and get shots to prove himself and his long range potential. STANFORD has become TE/U since the HARBAUGH days.
Round 6, Pick 183
JUSTIN SKULE OG VANDERBILT 6’7/320 5.25/40 PP#NR
I gotta be honest here. I don’t get this Pick. SKULE is a big body, but lacks much flexibility or mobility. I watched him all week at the Shrine venue, and he got eaten alive out at OT. He’s not a natural knee bender, and he ends up lunging a lot to try to block Edge Rushers. He will have to be hidden inside, IMO. At best, I see him on a Practice Squad this coming season.
Round 6, Pick 198
TIM HARRIS CB VIRGINIA 6’2/197 4.44/40 PP#NR
He is another guy I saw at the Shrine, and he indeed looked to me like “a guy”. He looks impressive with his length and solid body frame, but is not loose in the hips. He got beaten an awful lot by average receivers, to my eyes. This is a late Pick, but I think they signed several players as URFA’s who have a better chance to make their roster than HARRIS.
This Draft effort started out pretty well, but fizzled out later on. They were clearly filling needs, which is what an ascending team usually does, but it almost looked like the top guys went home after Round 5, and left the young guys in charge. We shall see, but they should have gotten a bit more out of this effort!