My favourite a part of the NFL Draft is discovering sleepers — guys that aren’t getting big-time buzz, however have one thing about them that might lead them to viable items within the league, in spite of being drafted past due or no longer drafted in any respect.
So I am getting a kick out of the truth that the 49ers are as excellent as any crew within the NFL with regards to discovering the ones sleepers. George Kittle, Dre Greenlaw, Emmanuel Mosley, numerous defensive linemen — the 49ers have ruled on Day 3 and they have got a rubric for the way they do it.
It’s no longer public, however I believe I’ve cracked it. And whilst they hardly ever want my approval, I trust their concepts.
So whilst all of the headlines will probably be in regards to the No. 3 total select, I consider that Day No. 3 will probably be the place the 49ers separate once more.
And listed below are 4 possibilities that intrigue me for the Niners in that vary.
Kene Nwangwu — RB — Iowa State
» Nwangwu was once the Cyclones’ second-string working again in the back of First-Group All-American Breece Corridor. That’s a win for any crew that drafts him — much less wear-and-tear is a superb factor whilst you’re coping with working backs.
However don’t let the loss of manufacturing scare you — it’s just about laughable how very good a have compatibility Nwangwu is for the 49ers’ run sport. The zone blockading Kyle Shanahan likes to run calls for backs to make one reduce and move upfield. Acceleration is significant and also you’re no longer going to seek out many backs, in any draft magnificence, who can move the primary 10 yards of a 40-yard sprint in 1.45 seconds. Nwangwu is the one one within the magnificence of 2021.
Staring at his tape, you’ll be able to additionally see appropriate imaginative and prescient and consciousness. I’ve simplest noticed him mocked as a seventh-round select, but when the Niners draft him at any level on Day 3, I’d see that as a price play.
Jason Pinnock — CB — Pitt
» Credit score to Landing Twine’s Doug Farrar for placing Pinnock on my radar. He can be an excellent select for the 49ers on Day 3.
The Pitt nook is lengthy, feisty, and in line with Professional Soccer Focal point allowed catches on simplest 30 p.c of go makes an attempt that went his manner, which may well be the most efficient mark within the nation. He’s no longer the quickest, however he has in reality elite athleticism — a just about 40-inch vertical and one of the most quickest 10-yard splits in his draft magnificence (at any place). That is the type of man who, when locked into the scheme, can lock down one aspect of the sector.
So why is he a Day 3 select? Smartly, as a result of Pitt’s protection had breakdown after breakdown within the secondary and that may mirror on Pinnock. Boy have been they a multitude towards excellent groups. It’s unhealthy information for Pinnock, however excellent information for groups in search of a conceivable discount.
Jonathan Marshall — DT — Arkansas
» The 49ers are in search of loopy athletes on Day 3 and Marshall suits the invoice.
Let me run some numbers for you: At 310 kilos, Marshall ran a 4.88-second 40-yard sprint, with splits of one.67 and a couple of.7 seconds at 10 and 20 yards. That’s no longer simply rapid, that’s horrifying rapid. Males that massive must no longer transfer like that.
He additionally jumps top and a long way. That’s vital as it signifies how a lot burst a participant could have off the road of scrimmage. It’s an explosion ranking. On this draft, there are simplest two gamers over 310 kilos who can extensive soar greater than 9 toes — Marshall and Texas A&M’s Bobby Brown (who would even be a pleasant pickup for the Niners).
Marshall simplest began one season at Arkansas and no person would ask him to tackle a double-team, however within the 49ers’ one-gap device, that athleticism will make him a direct affect participant. The Niners may just line him up both inside of or out of doors, and I believe he can be a third-down monster within the heart subsequent to Arik Armstead.
You gained’t to find him on any mock drafts, however I do know he’s on NFL crew’s radars as a Day 3 select. We’ll see which crew grabs him within the ultimate two rounds.
Brock Wright — TE — Notre Dame
» Sure, Wright went to an enormous college, however you’re going to have to move at the darkish internet to seek out his highlights.
Such is the plight of a blockading tight finish.
However don’t recall to mind Wright as some grunt who can’t do the rest within the open box.
The 49ers desire a moment tight finish to pair with George Kittle. Ross Dwelley isn’t the solution — he can’t block — and Charlie Woerner, ultimate yr’s sixth-round select, isn’t doing a lot of the rest at the box.
The Niners must cope with tight finish previous within the draft or deliver again Jordan Reed, however regardless, Wright must be on their board for a seventh-round select or as an unrestricted unfastened agent.
Be mindful: Kittle stuck simplest 48 passes in his 4 years at Iowa. The Niners noticed via that.
I believe Wright supplies a equivalent (however no longer parallel) upside. He simplest stuck seven passes in 3 years for the Irish.
The explanation the 49ers took Kittle within the 5th around of the 2017 draft was once his domination of athletic checking out. The dude extensive jumped 11 toes, which I nonetheless have no longer wrapped my head round.
Wright isn’t that roughly athlete. That’s a nonsense quantity.
However Wright is likely one of the absolute best athletes — at any place — on this draft magnificence.
He has the similar 40-yard sprint splits as Kittle — 1.6 at 10 yards and a couple of.65 at 20 — and had a powerful 20-yard travel time of four.25 seconds. He additionally publish 26 reps within the bench press, which is exceptional for a decent finish at 6-foot-4 and 257 kilos.
This can be a man who may well be the entirety the Niners sought after in Woerner. On the very least, he’ll be capable to are available for short-yardage eventualities and be capable to block a defensive finish.
Don’t scoff, that’s a precious function. Closing yr the Niners spent a sixth-round select on it. That was once a mistake, however they may be able to rectify it for the low value of a 7th, or no select in any respect, this yr.